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./,7 /: 





Entered aooording to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by 


In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington. 

AH rigktt reienweL 

• • • - v. : : 

• • •• -^^^ 

:.:•••:• * 
'.'•'.• :;..!. 


CHAPTER I. '^«« 

-^'VlBOINIA FROM 1606 TO 1766 1 

Virginia in 1765 41 

"" Maryland from 1632 to 1766 93 


MARTLAN0 IN 1766 112 


^ North Carolina from 1663 to 1765 182 

XoRTH Carolina in 1766 148 

South Carolina from 1663 to 1765 ^ 168 

t/ South Carolina in 1765 172 

Georgll from 1782 to 1765 187 

Gboroia in 1766 197 

Delaware from 1609 to 1682 205 

t^ Pennstlyamla. from 1681 to 1766 211 




New Jersey frou 1664 to 1765 268 

New Jersey in 1766 278 

^New York from 1609 to 1766 286 

• New York in 1766 812 

-^MASSACHusETre from 1620 TO 1766 341 

— ^ CONXECnCIJT FROM 1635 TO 1766 873 

• Rhode Island from 1636 to 1766 386 

*^ New Hampshire from 1623 to 1765 897 

New England in 1765 406 

Preparing for Retolution : from 1765 to 1776 476 

The War for Independence : from 1776 to 1782 501 

Peace: 1782 617 


INDEX 637 









Scale of Vnes 








H. C. L. 


The liistory of the thirteen American colonies is at best 
fragmentary and provincial, and does not assnme the impor- 
tance and value of the history of a nation nntil the meeting 
of the Stamp Act Congress at New York in the year 1765. 
But who and what the people were who fought the war for 
Independence and founded the United States — ^what was their 
life, what their habits, thoughts, and manners — seemed to me, 
when I began my study of American history, questions of the 
deepest interest. They were questions, too, which appeared 
to me never to have been answered in a compact and com- 
prehensive form; and this volume is an attempt to supply 
the deficiency. The chapters, therefore, which purport to de- 
scribe the various colonies in and about the year 1765 repre- 
sent the purpose of the book. They have been worked out, 
in the course of several years, from a mass of material which 
has been collected in all directions, and which, although wholly 
in print, is in many cases as generally unknown as if it still 
slumbered in manuscript. To these chapters I have append- 
ed notes — mere references — partly to support conclusions 
which I thought might be questioned, and partly to aid other 
students in the same field. The notes represent, however, 
only a portion of the books, tracts, and newspapers actually 
consulted. There are many titles in my note-books of works 
which yielded nothing, and of others again which offered mat- 
ter that had to be laid aside from mere superabundance of 
material : only the most valuable and important figure in the 

When I had finished these chapters for which the work was 


nndertaken, and which have been in part delivered in the form 
of lectures before the Lowell Institute of Boston, I felt that it 
was essential to my purpose to give an outline of the political 
history of each colony, in order to present a complete picture 
of the various communities. These sketches are as condensed 
as I could make them, although they have run to a far greater 
length than I hoped would be necessary. They make abso- 
lutely no pretence to original research, but are merely my own 
presentation of facts which ought to be familiar to every one. 
For this reason I have thought it entirely superfluous to en- 
cumber them with notes. 

The question of arrangement was not an easy one where 
thirteen distinct histories were involved ; but, after much re- 
flection, I decided to deal with each colony by itself, and give 
its complete history down to the year 1765. This plan is 
open to the charge of repetition ; but it seemed to me better 
than flitting from one colony to another, and thus distracting 
the reader's attention more than was absolutely necessary. 
The three concluding chapters are added, like those which 
treat of the political history of each colony, merely for the 
sake of completeness, and aim only to be a concise outline of 
the events which resulted in national existence. 

Many of the statistical details are, as I am only too well 
aware, very dry reading, and the same may be said of the po- 
litical history of some of the colonies. It may be possible to 
make the political history of every colony in turn picturesque 
and exciting ; but I know that in regard to certain of them, 
and in many portions of my history which could not be omit- 
ted, this was a task far beyond my powers. Yet at the same 
time I cannot but feel that the condition of the people of the 
American colonies in the years preceding the Revolution, how- 
ever insufficiently I may have dealt wdth it, is a subject of 
deep interest and importance. I can only say that if any- 
thing I have written is of assistance to students, or helps any 
one to a better understanding of a nation and of a history 
of which we may be rightly proud, I shall feel more than 


Heney Cabot Lodge. 
East Point, Nahast. 




Chapter I. 

VIRGINIA FROM 1606 TO 1765. 

When independence was declared, Virginia stood at the head of 
the English colonies in America. She was the most important polit- 
ically, as she was the oldest and the most populous of the provinces. 
Virginia was, moreover, the leader and representative of one of the 
three great political groups which formed the thirteen colonies, and, 
as such, she played an important, and for many years a controlling, 
part in the history of the United States. 

The colonial history of Virginia may be divided into three periods. 
The first extends from 1607-1617, and is occupied with the mere 
struggle for existence. The second is a period of political and mate- 
rial development, covering about sixty years. The third and longest 
lasted for a century — ^from 1677 to the outbreak of the Revolution — 
and was a time of material growth and political torpor. In the last 
two periods the c olony^cjos ely resembled the mother country, not only 
in social habits but in history. England rested after the terrible con- 
flicts of the seventeenth century, and so did Virginia. If Walpole 
could boast that during his administration England had no history, 
the same remark applies with tenfold force to Virginia ; for the politi- 
cal repose of the parent state became stagnation in the colony. But 
the forces destined to convulse the world before the eighteenth cen- 
tury closed were even then gathering strength, and the political ener- 
gies which made America foremost in that gi*eat movement were re- 
cuperated during these years of slothful inaction. 


2 A : :/• ;• : 'I.: • : : . ^^a^x of tub 

The earliest incidents in Virginian history and in the English colo- 
nization of America carry us back to the glories of the Elizabethan 
era, to the days of Marlowe and Shakspeare, of Burleigh and Wal- 
singham, of Essex and Leicester, and Francis Bacon. In that great 
period, the most conspicuous representative of a largo class, and the 
typical man of action, was Walter Raleigh, whose name is inseparably 
connected with the first efforts of English colonization in America. 
There is no need to dwell upon the ill-fated attempts to found a set- 
tlementjD>n Roanoke Island. Raleigh's first expedition was sent out in 
^ ^ 1 584, and for many subsequent years he persevered fruitlessly in 
his purpose of establishing a colony. These repeated failures 
present merely the common picture of the ill-planned, ill-managed, and 
disastrous endeavors of individuals in the sixteenth century to colo- 
nize the New World. Raleigh lavished money and thought upon his 
schemes ; but he had undertaken a task beyond his strength, or that 
of any one man at a time when the art of colonization was unknown, 
and its difficulties scarcely imagined. The name Virginia bestowed 
upon the new colony in honor of Elizabeth is the only lasting memo- 
rial of Raleigh in America. To later times and to a new State has 
been reserved the privilege of naming a city for the great adventurer. 
These repeated disasters did not, however, cool the zeal or diminish 
the confidence of those Englishmen who were interested in discovery 
and were the friends of colonization. Fresh voyages kindled fresh 
hopes. The successful cniiso of Captain Gosnold, his prosper- 
ous winter in New England, and his discovery of a short north- 
ern passage, produced much excitement in London, and greatly en- 
couraged all interested in such projects, while the fortunate voyage 
and favorable report of W^eyraouth a few years later seem to have 
had a decisive effect. In the following year, on the petition of 
certain " fiim and hearty lovers " of colonization, James I. char- 
tered two companies (the Lon^Qjiand PlymoaJh) and bestowed upon 
them in equal portions the vast territory included in twelve degrees of 
latitude, and stretching from Cape Fear to Halifax. This charter and 
the subsequent instructions -are worthy of the intelligence of the first 
Stuart. They are long, verbose documents, are of little historical val- 
ue, and have no intrinsic merit of any kind. By virtue of them a 
complicated form of government was framed. For each colony sepa- 
rate councils, appointed by the King, were instituted in England, and 
these councils were in turn to name resident councillors for the col- 
onies. Tliirteen members constituted the resident council. Thev had 


power to choose their own president, to fill vacancies in their numbers, 
and, a jury being required only in capital cases, to act as a court of 
last resort in all other causes. Religion was established in accordance 
with the forms and doctrines of the Church of England. The advent- 
urers, as the members of the Company were called, had power to coin 
money and collect a revenue for twenty-one years from all vessels 
trading to their ports, and they were also freed from taxation for a term 
of years. One article alone, and only in the most general terms, pro- 
vides for the liberty of the subject, as follows: "Who (ever) shall dwell 
and inhabit within every and any of said several colonies and planta- i 
tions, and every of their children * * * shall have and enjoy all liberties, 1 
franchises, and immunities, within any of our other dominions, to all 
intents and purposes as if they had been abiding and born within this 
our realm of England." The good faith of this clause in the charter 
is somewhat shaken by the open disregard of all English rights in the 
instructions ; but the principle contained in this provision, though lit- 
tle noticed in 1606, became of vital interest in 1774. The arguments 
of statesmen and parliaments, of patriots and colonial assemblies, turn 
upon the existence of this principle of citizenship and freedom con- 
ceded by James with the elaborate stupidity with which, in the same 
paper, he evolved a system calculated to make his colonists little more 
than slaves. Another clause in the instructions, as important as it was 
wrong and injurious, provided for community of goods. 

A more awkward scheme could hardly have been devised. Anarbt-" 
trary and irresponsible council in America, another almost equally so 
in England, the legislative powers reserved to the King, the governing 
body a commercial monopoly, and the chief principle of society com- 
munity of property, together formed one of the most ingeniously T)ad 
systems for the government of men which could be devised. To the 
first settlers this frame of government and a sealed box containing the 
names of the resident council were confided. The men who composed 
the expedition cared but little for forms of government. They were 
imbued with the popular notions in regard to the New World. ** I 
tell thee," says Seagull, in Marston's play of " Eastward Ho !" writ- 
ten in 1605, "golde is more plentifull there than copper is with 
• us; and for as much redde copper as I can bring, I'll have thrise 
the weight in golde. W^hy, man, all their dripping-pans are pure 
golde, and all the chaines with which they chaine up their streets are 
massive golde ; all the prisoners they take are fettered in golde ; and 
for rubies and diamonds, they goes forth in holy dayes and gather 


'hem by the sea-shore, to hang on their children's coates and stick in 
their children's caps, as commonly as our children wear saffron -gilt 
brooches and groates with holes in them." The life in the new coun- 
try was to be one of ease and luxury, abounding in everything good 
to eat and drink ; and last, though not least, Seagull says, '' There we 
shall have no more law than conscience, and not too much of eytlier." 
This was the picture of the dramatist, and was unquestionably in its 
essence the theory of the firet colonist%^ The wild anticipations of 
the gold-hunter, the spirit of the conquerors of Mexico and Peru filled 
the breasts and inspired the hearts of the men who embarked with 
Captain Newport late in 1606, and who were destined to lay the foun- 
dation of a great English state in the New World. 

An^ong the leaders of the expedition were Gosnold, the voyager and 
discoverer, and a prime mover in the affair ; Wingfield, one of the 
first- named patentees, John Smith, Ratcliffe, Martin, Kendall, and 
Percy. Of these men John Smith has become famous. He has taken 
place among the founders of states, and a romantic interest has atr 
tachcd itself to his name. For centuries his character and deeds have 
been applauded, while in late years they have become a theme for 
censure and detraction. Modern investigation has relentlessly swept 
away the romance, and torn in pieces many of the long accepted nar- 
ratives in which Smith recorded his own achievements. Yet it was 
not wholly by a false and fluent pen that Smith obtained and held 
his reputation. He was something more than a plausible writer of 
fiction. He was the strongest and most representative man among 
the Virginian colonists. He was an adventurer of a high order in an 
age of adventurers. He had all the faults of his time and class in 
full measure, but he had also their virtues, and it was here that he 
surpassed his companions. Smith was arbitrary, jealous of power, 
quarrelsome, and despotic, ready to lie audaciously to serve his own 
ends, and rashly over-confident. But he was also brave, energetic, 
quick-witted, and full of resource. Bewitched, no doubt, by the same 
visions as his companions, and far more imaginative than any of them, 
he alone of all his little company had the power of recognizing exist- 
ing facts, and dealing with them as he found them. To buoyant hope 
and sanguine belief in the unknown, so characteristic of the period. 
Smith united the qualities of a leader, and some capacity for the 
practical administration of the colony. The other principal men were 
not of marked ability, and were, for the most part, of very indifferent 
character. Percy united to a noble name honor, courage, and good 


intentions. Gosnold had been a successful discoverer, and appears 
also to have been an honest and sensible man. Wingfield was, with 
the exception of Percy, the most important personage in point of 
wealth and social position, and had served for many years in the Eu- 
ropean wars, but he proved incapable of governing. The remaining 
leaders, and the great mass of their followers as well, were adventurers 
of a low type. London was swarming with such characters, who had 
been left idle by the cessation of the Spanish wars, and who now 
thronged the capital restless and dissatisfied, eager for fresh scenes in 
new worlds, and thirsting for the old life of freebooting and discov- 
ery. Smith concisely catalogues them as "poor gentlemen, trades- 
men, serving-men, and libertines." They were certainly wretched ma- 
terial for the founders of a state, especially as the " poor gentlemen " 
were to the tradesmen and mechanics in the ratio of five to one. 

With this hopeful company Newport left the Downs on the Ist of 
January, 1607. The worthy Richard Hakluyt sent them a 
paper containing much good advice and some ingenious geo- 
graphical speculations, and Drayton celebrated their departure in clum- 
sy verses filled with high-flown compliments. The advice of the priest 
and the praise of the poet were alike wasted. By an arrangement in- 
geniously contrived to promote discord, devised probably by royal 
sagacity, the box containing the names of the council was not to be 
opened until the voyagers reached their destination. Dissension broke 
out almost immediately. Whatever the merits of the differences, this 
much is certain, that Smith was the object of the concentrated jeal- 
ousy and hatred of his companions. He probably invented the story 
of the erection of a pair of gallows for him at the island of Mevis, 
" which he could not be persuaded to use ;" but there is no doubt of 
the fact that he alone of those nominated was excluded from a seat 
in the council on their arrival in Virginia. His superior abilities, his 
arbitrary temper, and probable self-assertion, suflSciently account for 
this attack ; but he was not long depressed by the reverse, and ob- 
tained his office within a month after the landing. 

On the 18th of May, 1607, the settlers landed at Jamestown, sent 
out exploring parties, and began fortifications. A fortnight later, 
under the command of Wingfield, they repulsed an attack by the 
Indians; and on the 22d of June Newport sailed for England, and 
left them to their own resources. The prospect must have been a 
dreary one : nothing answered to their expectations. Instead of val- 
uable mines, the adventurers found only a most fertile soil ; instead 


of timid, trusting South American Indians, they encountered wild 
tribes of hardy, crafty, and hostile savages ; instead of rich, defence- 
less, and barbarian cities, an easy and splendid spoil, they found a wil- 
derness, and the necessity of hard work. From the miserable char- 
acter of the settlers, dangerous factions prevailed from the first, until 
Smith obtained control, and maintained some sort of order — despot- 
ically, perhaps, but still effectually. 

No one would work, and famine and the Indians preyed upon them 
mercilessly. A small fort and a few wretched huts, built after much 
quarrelling, represented for many months all that was accomplished. 
The only relief from this dark picture of incompetent men perishing, 
without achievement, and by their own folly, on the threshold of a 
great undertaking, is to be found in the conduct of Smith. Despite 
almost insurmountable obstacles, Smith kept the colony together for 
two years. He drilled the soldiers, compelled labor, repaired the fort, 
traded with the Indians, outwitted them and kept their friendship, 
and made long and daring voyages of discovery. He failed to send 
home a lump of gold, but he did send an excellent map of the Com- 
pany's territory. He did not discover the passage to the South Sea, 
but ho explored the great bays and rivers of Virginia. He did not 
find Raleigh's lost colonists, but he managed to keep his own from 
v^otal destruction. The great result of all Smith's efforts was the 
I character of permanency he gave to the settlement Because he snc- 
I ceeded in maintaining an English colony for two consecutive years in 
,' America, the London Company had courage to proceed ; and this is 
what constitutes Smith's strongest claim to the admiration and grat- 
"vijiude of posterity. To suppose that he had the qualities of a foun- 
der of a state is a mistake, although in some measure he did the 
work of one. Neither Smith's character nor the nature of his ambi- 
tion fitted him for such a task ; but he was a quick-witted and intel- 
ligent man, who understood, or soon discovered, the necessary condi< 
tions of successful colonization. With a strong hand, therefore, he 
repressed the wretched malice and ignorant folly which had ruined 
previous settlements ; and when his opportunities and his companions 
are considered, it is matter for profound astonishment that Smith 
should have succeeded as he did. His veracity as a historian in the 
later years of his life has been well-nigh destroyed. But little faith 
can be placed in the ''Generall Historic," and modem investigation has 
conclusively relegated to the region of legend and of fiction the dra- 
matic story of Smith's rescue by Pocahontas. The shadow of doubt 


rests upon all bis unsupported statements ; but notbing can obscure 
bis great services, to whicb tbe world owes tbe foundation of tbe 
first Englisb colony in America. Yet, after all bis struggles, Smitb 
was severely blamed by tbe Company, apparently because Virginia 
was not Peru. In a manly letter be sets fortb tbe defects of tbe col- 
ony, tbe need of good men witb families, industrious tradesmen and 
farmers, not " poor gentlemen and libertines." Before, bowever, tbe 
actual orders came to supersede bim, Smitb resigned, or was forced 
out of tbe government, and returned to England. Tbe feeble life of 
tbe colony wasted fast after bis departure and during tbe sickness of 
Percy, wbo succeeded to tbe command. Matters, indeed, came to 
sucb a pass tbat the settlement, even after the coming of Grates and 
Somers witb part of tbe fleet, was actually abandoned, wben 
Lord Delaware arrived as Governor and Captain-general witb 
fresb men and supplies. 

Misfortune bad stimulated the London Company to fresb exer- 
tions ; tbeir cbarter bad been extended, and powers reserved in tbe old"*^ 
one to tbe King were now given to tbe Company, wbicb tbus became 
tborougbly democratic in its organization. Prejudice against tbe 
colonists on account of tbeir ill-success, and rumors tbat tbe balf- 
starved wretcbes intended to parcel out Virginia, tben including a 
large part of Nortb America, among themselves, caused tbe Company, 
acting under tbe new cbarter, to deprive tbe settlers of sucb poor 
liberties as they already possessed. The Governor was in future to 
exercise uncontrolled authority, and be was empowered to rule, if be 
saw fit, by a code of martial law used in tbe Low Countries. 

Lord Delaware, tbe first Governor under the new system, held oflSce 
but a short time. He came surrounded by tbe pomp of tbe Old 
World, witb a train of liveried servants, whose gorgeous dresses must 
bave bad a strange effect in tbe dark Virginian forests. The osten- 
tation of bis administration, wbicb was, on tbe whole, a beneficial one, 
and the splendor of bis train, sbow tbe profound ignorance of the 
time in regard to tbe necessities and conditions of colonization. Lord 
Delaware was soon succeeded in office by Sir Thomas Dale, to whom 
Virginia is more indebted than to any of her early governors. Dale 
administered bis government in accordance witb the martial code pre- 
pared for use at tbe Governor's discretion. By these severe and sal- 
utary laws be curbed tbe refractory temper of bis worthless subjects, 
and was for five years tbe ruling spirit of tbe colony, although Gates 
was for a time at the bead of affairs. During this period the Com- 


pany improved and increased the emi^tion, bat the advance was 
chiefly due to their Grovemor in Virginia. Taking advantage of the 
marriage of Pocahontas, Dale continued and strengthened his success- 
ful Indian treaties, while at the same time he extended the settlements 
and kept them in order. But that which did most credit to his wis- 
--^^dSP Aod good sense was his initiation of a reform in the manner of 
holding property. He provided for the introduction of individual 
/ proprietorship, and by thus breaking down the wretched communal 
' system imposed upon the colonists, he laid the foundations of future 
strength and prosperity. Dale found the colony struggling for a 
doubtful existence, and left it firmly established. The first period 
in Yiiginian history was terminated by this strong and wise adminis- 

George Yeardley, the deputy, carried on the government after Sir 
1616- Thomas Dale's departure, but was soon superseded by Samuel 
1617. Argall, who obtained the oflSce of governor through the influ- 
ence of the Court faction in the Company. Argall was a sea-captain 
of piratical tastes, who had been conspicuous during Dale's adminis- 
tration for the abduction of Pocahontas, for pillaging and burning the 
huts of the French fishermen in Acadia, and, as has been alleged, for 
bullying the Dutch traders on Manhattan. As might have been ex- 
pected from his career, Argall was an active, energetic, unscrupulous 
man, who, placed at the head of a government administered in accord- 
ance with a military code, carried it on in the spirit of a buccaneer, 
and was tyrannical and extortionate. He stimulated the energy 
which had flagged somewhat under the mild rule of Yeardley ; but he 
did what under the circumstances was still better, he oppressed the 
colonists and robbed them of their property, his especial vengeance 
and greed lighting on the friends of Lord Delaware. Complaints 
soon found their way to England. The Virginians had now awakened 
to the fact that they were shockingly misgoverned ; that they were 
left at the mercy of one man's will ; that their rights were unknown, 
and that they had no protection against the tyranny of such rufflers 
as Argall. The period of political development had begun. 

Argall carried his oppression too far. Reports of his misrule cir- 
culating in England almost stopped emigration at a very critical pe- 
riod in the life of the colony. Moreover, Argall had chosen his time 
badly. The patriot party, who were beginning to make the London 
Company for Virginia a school for education in free government, 
found that the governorship of their colony had been stolen, and the 


enterprise almost rained by the Court minority. The grievances of 
the Virginians found, therefore, a ready hearing from men upon whom 
the hand of majesty had already begun to press. 

The fortunes of the little American settlement were caught and 

swept along in the political current then just beginning to run 

strongly in England. The indignation aroused in London by^- 
ArgalPs misconduct led to the instant defeat of the Court party. Sir 
Edwin Sandys replaced Sir Thomas Smith as treasurer, and was in turn 
succeeded by another liberal, the Earl of Southampton. A mercantile 
company is at best a wretched sovereign ; but Virginia was fortunate 
in falling into the hands of men who at that moment car^d more for 
liberal principles than for anything else. The opposition was all-pow- 
erful in the Company, and they made it a battle-ground with the King. 
They were at last defeated ; but in the mean time they conferred on 
Virginia a representative government, and taught the colonists the 
lesson of sncccssful resistance. Thus the great political forces at 
work in England gave Virginia free institutions through the strange, 
medium of a commercial monopoly. Sandys, Southampton, Digges, 
'Selden, and the rest, using the London Company as a political engine, 
not only governed Virginia wisely, but, to farther other ends, gave her 
political opportunities from which she reaped lasting benefit 

Not content with Uic recall of Argall, and with despatching first 
Lord Delaware, who died on the voyage, and then Yeardley in his 
stead, the Company granted a new form of political organization to 
the colonists. The Governor's power was in future to be limited by 
a council, and the assemblage of a representative body was author- 
ized. Yeardley and the colonists immediately concurred in this 

measure, and the House of Burgesses met in June, 1619. 

Almost their first act was to exclude the Burgesses from 
Martin's hundred, because, by the terms of their patent, they were 
exempted from obedience to the laws of the colony. The Burgesses 
prayed the Company that the clause in the charter guaranteeing equal 
laws might not be violated, and the maintenance of the great Eng- 
lish principle of the equality of all men before the law dignifies the 
first meeting of the first representative body of America. The session 
was mainly occupied with the passage of sumptuary laws and police 
regulations. Appropriate statutes provided for the government of 
the clergy, and a tax on tobacco was laid for their support The leg- 
islation of these men was as unimportant as it could well be in its 
general character, yet it contained the germ of that jealous resistance 


to the mother coantry and all things proceeding thence which indeU 
ibly marks American colonial history. Dale^s firm government had 
imparted stability to the infant State, while Argall's galling tyranny 
had stimulated the latent political life. Political habits, although 
laid aside with difficulty, are easily resumed by all the English race. 
Even in this feeble Virginian settlement, among this handful of men 
scattered along the outskirts of the wilderness, the same spirit existed 
which was at that very moment making itself felt in England. Ma- 
terial prosperity had begun, and political development was close be- 
hind. With Dale^s adm'inistration closes the first period in Virginian 
history. A year of bad government ensues, and with the meeting of 
the Burgesses the second stage is reached. The parasitic existence is 
at an end, and the colony begins to have interests and a life of its 
own. This year, so marked in Virginian annals by the dawn of rep- 
resentative government and constitutional freedom, is made still fur- 
ther memorable by the arrival of the first slaves in America. The 
landing of this ill-omened freight was probably due to the open- 
ing of the Virginian ports to free-trade by the London Companv, al- 
though they may have been a legacy of Argall's piratical nile. \ The 
year was also marked by large immigration of very varied excellence. 
A large proportion of the immigration at this time consisted of boys 
and girls seized by press-gangs in the streets of London, and shipped 
as if they were felons condemned to transportlltion ; but through 
every difficulty growth and progress could be perceived. 

When Virginia held her first Assembly, twenty-two Burgesses, rep- 
resenting eleven boroughs, composed that body. A few hundred 
sturdy, liberty - loving Englishmen, bearing up against unexampled 
liardships, living the rudest and most exposed lives, and striving for 
sudden fortune by tobacco-growing, constituted the great State of Vi^ 
ginia in 1619. But the prospects of future success opened by the 
wealth which tobacco seemed to insure served to rapidly build up the 
colony. Immigration increased and improved. The "prudent men 
with families" whom Smith had sighed for began to come. The rapid 
growth of the colony in numbers, wealth, and commercial importance 
is shown by the increase of the population from six hundred to four 
thousand within a year after the first Assembly, and by orders in 
council prohibiting free-trade. So firmly was the colony established 
during Yeardley's administration, that the Indian outbreak, in which 
more than three hundred persons perished, did not destroy the settle- 
ments. This attack occurred in the second year of the administration 


of Sir Francis Wyatt, who, when he came to Virginia as Yeardley's 
successor, brought a new constitution granted by the Com- 
pany to their colonists. Not only were the former immuni- 
ties and franchises confirmed, but definite provision was made for the 
regular assemblage of the representative body. This further aston- 
ishing act of generosity and wisdom on the part of a commercial 
monopoly was due to no efforts of the colonists. They had gone so 
far as to complain of Argall, and to humbly petition against unjust 
and unequal patents, but they had not yet thought of demanding 
formal securities for their rights. The permission to hold an assem- 
bly was everything to men who had only dared to hope for the recall 
of an obnoxious governor; but to have a regular frame of constitu- 
tional government conferred upon them by the voluntary action of 
the Company was something they had never even dreamed of, and 
their good fortune was due to far more powerful agencies than their 
own discontents. 

The rising opposition to James and to prerogative, in favor of lib- 
erty, indicated the growth of the great movement which brought the 
next Stuart to the block, and the London Company for Virginia has 
obtained lasting fame as the first ground occupied by the patriot 
party in England. Under the democratic constitution of the advent- 
urers, freedom of debate and love of independence were fostered. 
James, ever jealous drany invasion, real or fancied, of his prerogative, 
attempted interference at an early day ; but the intrepid Company op- 
posed him, and' set at naught his claim to nominate their ofiScei*s. 
James denounced the Company as '' a seminary for a seditious Par- 
liament," and said he would rather they should choose the devil as 
treasurer than Sir Edwin Sandys. So high did the contest run that 
Chamberlain, writing to Sir Dudley Carleton, says: "The factions in 
these two companies are grown so violent, as Guelfs and Ghibellines 
were not more animated one against another; and they seldom 
meet upon the Exchange or in the streets, but they brabble and quar- 

From this struggle and the feelings it excited, the colonists ob- 
tained solid advantages, but the doom of the Company was sealed. 
James pursued them unrelentingly, the " great massacre " coming at 
a moment to fan discontent and encourage his schemes. Royal com- 
missioners were thereupon sent to Virginia to gather materials for 
the destruction of the Company. The Virginians, however, stood by 
their friends. Tlie commissioners, without producing their creden 


tials, demanded the records of the Assembly. The Assembly de- 
clined to comply. The commissioners bribed the clerk of the Hoase 
to give up the records, and the Assembly stood their clerk in the 
pillory and cut off his ear. But all this patriotic resistance was 
fruitless on the part of colonists and adventurers alike ; the former 
learned their first lesson in resisting the royal power, and the Com- 
--pany lost its charter. A quo warranto was tried in the Eing^s Bench, 
and the charters annulled. The ''London" Company and the in- 
trigues which gave it importance and led to its dissolution concern 
us only in their immediate connection with Virginia. In obedience 
_to their own sentiments, and in conformity with their most cherished 
i principles, the London adventurers endowed Virginia with free insti- 
I tutions, but their overthrow was none the less a distinct benefit to 
( the colony. It not only relieved the settlers from the cumbrous, 
complicated, and uncertain government of a mercantile corporation, 
but it placed them in the same direct relation with their King as his 
other subjects. 

Sir Francis Wyatt was continued in his oflBce after the dissolution 
1624- o^ ^^6 charter, and again when Charles I. came to the throne. 
1625. Soon after the latter event he resigned the government to 
_Ifiardley, and sailed for England. The five years of Wyatt's admin- 
istration are memorable for their legislative activity, for the formation 
of political habits, and for the first opposition to the home government 
, which strengthened and confirmed the independent spirit of the colo- 
nists. The session of 1623-24, the year the royal commissioners came 
to Virginia for assistance in ruining the Company, is marked in the 
Statute-book by the definition and declaration of certain guiding 
political principles which were never after shaken. The most impor- 
' tant were the limitations on the Governor's power ; he was not " to 
lay any taxes or impositions upon the colony, their lands, or other 
way than by the authority of the General Assembly, to be levied and 
employed as said Assembly shall appoint." The Governor was not 
to withdraw the inhabitants from their labors for his own service, 
and Burgesses attending the Assembly were to be privileged from 
. arrest. These were the same great and fundamental principles for 
which patriotic men were then contending in England. Virginia 
. learned and applied the best theories of English constitutional gov- 
ernment with wonderful aptitude. 

In this same session, besides a number of private acts and police 
regulations, monthly courts, to be held by commissioners appointed by 


the Grovernor, the commander of the place being ex officio of the quo- 
rum, were established in some of the more distant boroughs. One law 
passed at this time curiously Illustrates how thoroughly English the 
Virginians were in the recognition of social position, and how the j 
whole state of society was destined to be a reproduction on a small ! 
scale and in a new country of that which the colonists had left. It 
was enacted, '* that such persons of quality as shall be found delinquent 
in their duties, being not fitt to undei-goe corporal punishment, may 
notwithstanding be ymprisoned at the discretion of the commander.*' 
This delicacy in dealing with well-born malefactors shows that, though 
these early settlers had a hearty love of political liberty and the en- 
forcement of law, they were by no means the sturdy young republi- 
cans they are sometimes represented. They were true Englishmen, 
wedded to the traditions, prejudices, and social habits of their native 

When Charles succeeded his father he continued Wyatt, and made 
no mention of the liberties and franchises enjoyed by the settlers; for it 
probably did not occur to him that such persons needed representative 
government. That he discountenanced the former " popular course," 
is probabl e from the break in the meeting s of the Assembly which 
seems to have occunod at this time. But although Virginia was a 
feeble colony, she produced a valuable staple. Charles wanted money, 
was determined to engross the profits on tobacco, and really cared very 
little how the men who raised the tobacco were governed. His sore 
need of money led him into a recognition of the Assembly. With 
that body he carried on his dealings, and King and Burgesses haggled 
over their bargains with right good-will. The l^urgesscs declined to 
accede to the proposed royal monopoly, although they offered Charles 
good terms. Meantime Wyatt departed for Ireland, and on the death 
of his successor the Council chose Francis West as governor, and 
subsequently John Pott. The latter was soon superseded by a royal 
governor, Sir John Harvey, a commissioner of the King at the 
time of the dissolution of the Company, and between whom 
and the Virginians there was but little good-will. He quickly filled 
up the measure of unpopularity by assuming the power of granting 
unpatented lands, and the turbulent quarrels which ensued between 
governor and people show merely the former's despotic spirit and de- 
sire of encroaching upon the powers of the Assembly, and the rather 
ill-regulated love of liberty which then characterized the Virginians. 
These quarrels proved in the end to have been well timed. From com- 


plaints, the colonists soon proceeded to more active measures, and 
" thrust Harvey out of the government" He went to Eng- 
1636. ^^"^' ^^ ^^^ complaints before the King. Charles was in 
no mood to tolerate opposition, and reinstated the obnoxious 
Governor, who continued in oflSce three years longer, followed by the 
bitter hatred of the colonists. But Charles was getting deeper and 
deeper into difficulties, which rendered harsh treatment of his colonies 
most unprofitable and inexpedient. He gradually relaxed his poli- 
cy, and in 1639 reappointed Sir Francis Wyatt to the government of 

There were during the period of Harvey's administration two events 
of great importance. One was the first intercourse with another col- 
ony, that which settled Maryland in 1632 under the auspices of Lord 
Baltimore ; the other was the rise of tlie Puritan party in Virginia. 
The former was the main cause of Harvey's trouble. Harvey was 
well disposed toward the new-comers, and treated them with fair- 
ness and consideration, while the Virginians swallowed their indig- 
nation at what they deemed a dismemberment of their territory, and 
received Calvert's colonists kindly enough. But this good-nature was 
of short duration. Quarrels about jurisdiction broke out almost im- 
mediately, and Harvey and the Mar}^lauders alike suffered. Clay- 
borae's petty wars with the Calverts excited the sympathy of Vir- 
ginia, but, so far as she was concerned, repay no one's study. They 
served in a harsh way to accustom the Virginians to neighbors, and 
taught them their first lesson of forbearance for the sake of mutual 
advantage. The rise of the Puritans had a much more immediate and 
marked effect upon the fortunes of Virginia. The appearance of Pu- 
ritans and Puritan principles was due to a small immigration of that 
class many years before, and to the increasing distrust of royalty bred 
by the condition of the times. Virginia had been settled before the 
beginning of the straggle which afterward rent England asunder, and, 
more strongly attached to the Established Church than to any other 
form of worship, the Virginians had always made it their first nominal 
duty to guard and support the religion of the state. They had never 
felt themselves injured by the Stuarts. Both James and Charles had, 
in the main, treated them well, and the difficulties with the latter had 
been only the natural disagreements of buyer and seller. Ultimate 
victory had crowned their resistance to Harvey ; and no principle had 
been involved in any of these contests. Such a community was not 
a very promising soil for the Puritans ; yet so great was the strength 


of their doctrines, their party bad struck its roots so deep down into 
every part of English society, that they throve even in Virginia. But 
as yet the lines were not sharply drawn. 

After a short term of little more than two years Wyatt was replaced 
by Sir William Berkeley, who came furnished with abundance 
of mild words and fair promises from Charles, then hard pushed 
by his enemies. The new Governor was, of course, at the head of the 
Royalist interest, governed well at first, and was generally popular. The 
arrival of New England missionaries first aroused the dominant party, 
and an act was passed that "all Non-conformists shall be compelled to - 
depart the collony with all conveniencie." The gcaeral tone of this 
Assembly shows that the religious feeling was wholly in ac- 
1643^ cordance with the moderate party of the Established Church 
in England. There was this act against the Puritans; but, in 
remembrance of Maryland, a much sterner law against Papists. The 
Burgesses granted two houses to Berkeley, and made good his salary ; 
but they stated distinctly in the act that it was not to be drawn into 
a precedent. In their revised laws they re-enacted that the Governor 
was not to lay taxes without leave of the Assembly, and that Burgesses 
should be privileged ; they further provided that nothing was to con- 
travene the act of the Assembly, that every one demanding a jury had 
a right to one, and that appeals could be brought from county courts 
to the quarter courts, and thence to the Assembly. The general char- 
acter of the legislation was hostile to the prerogative, and, except for 
the law against Non-conformists, was far more Puritan than Royalist. 
The first step toward federation was taken in the passage of an act 
ratifying and regulating commerce with Maryland. 

At a great distance from England, the colonists were exempt from 
civil war, and their prosperity increased rapidly, interrupted only by 
a second Indian outbreak, which Berkeley quelle^ with vigor 
and success. Yet Virginia was so exact a copy in little of 
the mother country, that during this period of quiet and prosperity 
the Puritan party grew so steadily that the restless Clay borne found it 
worth his while to appear as one of its leaders. The execution of the 
King naturally produced a violent revulsion, while the strong meas- 
ures of Parliament had already aided Berkeley's party, which had been 
enabled to vote the Governor a guard, and to empower him to 
impress troops. The sorrow and indignation of the naturally 
loyal Virginians at the " murder " of the King put the Cavalier party 
in fact so completely in the ascendant that laws were passed of the 


very strongest nature in regard to those who dared to defend the 
manner of Charleses death, or to asperse his memory. The number 
of Independents in Virginia was trifling ; and the majority of the col- 
onists, not possessing the religious stimulus, shrank in undisguised 
horror from what they considered the awful crime of Cromwell and 
his soldiers. Virginia, therefore, went on quietly as before' with a 
Royalist government The last act of Charles had been a kind one 
in declining to restore the Company — which he did not then have 
the power to do — and the well-known sympathy of Virginia with 
the unhappy King drew many exiled Cavaliers to America, and thus 
increased the Royalist strength in the colonial parties. 

Berkeley's invitation to Charles 11. to come to Virginia was cer- 
tainly made in good faith, and there is every reason to suppose that 
the sentiment of the colony supported the offer of the Governor; 
but the founders of the English Commonwealth were not the men to 
suffer disobedience, even in the most remote comer of their posses- 
sions. Commissioners for the colonies were appointed — among oth- 
ers Clayborne — and the fleet in which they sailed arrived at 
Jataiestown in 1652. The Assembly and the commissioners 
very soon came to an agreement Either the ultra-loyalism produced 
by Charles's execution had subsided, and the Puritan party had re- 
gained enough ground to enable it to act offensively upon the slight- 
est external encouragement, or the loyal valor of the mass of the col- 
onists evaporated at the sight of a fleet manned by the seamen of 
Blake and Ayscue. The substantial victory, at all events, rested with 
the Puritan party, and it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that 
Berkeley found himself, after all his brave talk, insufficiently sup- 
poi-ted. Colonies are proverbially selfish, and, despite their warlike 
preparations, the Virginians appear to have shown no overwhelming 
desire for bloodshed. The mildness of the terms granted accord well 
with the circumstances of the times. The Parliament was in no 
mood to make fresh enemies, especially where distance rendered them 
formidable ; and the Puritan party in the colony, upon whom the 
home government had to rely, probably set the safety and prosperity 
of Virginia far above all other considerations. The ascendancy of 
the Puritan element, however, was secured in Virginia, and their 
leaders administered the affairs of the colony until the Restoration. 
Nothing could have been more free and independent than the govern- 
ment established and maintained under the auspices of Cromwell. 
The Protector did not appoint one of the three Puritan governors — 


Bennet, Digges, and Matthews ; they were all chosen by the Assem- 
bly, and derived their power entirely from the representatives of the 
people. The same was true of the Conncil, and at no period did Vir- 
ginia enjoy so large a measure of self-government as under the Pro- 
tectorate. The Parliamentary commissioners, headed by the active 
Claybome, occupied themselves chiefly with the affairs of Maryland, 
and with settling boundaries ; while the Assembly defined the powers 
of the Governor and Council, and asserted the popular rights in their 
fullest extent Indeed, in their difficulty with Matthews, they re- 
moved and re-elected him, and succeeded perfectly In all their claims 
to the supreme power in the state. They followed the principles 
and example of the great Parliament in England, but acted with 
more moderation and fairness, and they fortunately met no provincial 
Cromwell ready and able to tear power from tlieir grasp. That Vir- 
ginia prospered during the period of the Protectorate is not surpris- 
ing ; for, under the guidance of the Puritan party, the liberties of the 
people were quietly, legally, and successfully affirmed and established, 
while their interests were prudently protected. 

But Puritanism left a more enduring mark upon the English 
colonial policy than a passing alteration of particular governments. 
When Berkeley was first sent to Virginia, he brought with him royal 
instructions regulating trade, and requiring that all Virginian prod- 
ucts should be shipped to English ports alone. This was the dawn 
of the famous restrictive policy ; but it was reserved to Cromwell to 
put this policy into an enduring shape by means of the Navigation 
Act passed as a war measure by the Long Parliament, the first of the 
famous series which led ultimately to the revolt of the colonies. This 
act was not observed in Virginia, despite the equivalents granted by 
Parliament in the treaty, and no attempt was then made to enforce it. 

The government of the colony during the term of the Puritan as- 
cendancy was not only wise but strong. Clay borne and Ben net, at 
the head of a victorious party, were not the men to forget their for- 
mer difficulties and defeats in Maryland ; and backed by the Virginian 
strength, and in the name of the Commonwealth, they subdued and 
governed their Catholic neighbor. The theory of repressed loyalty 
in Virginia can be safely abandoned. Satisfied with the triumph 
of his party and its leaders, Cromwell left the colony to take care of 
itself. On the other hand, his party, strong in the Protector's sup- 
port, governed wisely and well, oppressing no one, and making the 
colony prosperous at home and respected abroad. The death of Oil- 


ver and the accession of Richard were received in Virginia, as in Eng- 
land, without an outbreak of any kind, and Richard was universally 
acknowledged. When Samuel Matthews died, shortly after, Virsfinia 
was left without a Governor, and the abdication of Richard left Eng- 
land without a recognized Government. The Virginian Assembly, 
with all the power of the state in its hands, determined to await the 
arrival of commissioners, and in the mean time re -elected 
Berkeley. This fatal reversion to the head of the old party 
is not easy to understand. It indicates an absence of party-spirit, 
and apparently a lack of leading men on the Puritan side, and was 
certainly a mistake which led to many troubles subsequently. Dur- 
ing the Protectorate Vii^nia enjoyed peace, prosperity, and good 
government, and at the time of the Restoration possessed free-trade, 
universal suffrage, and religious freedom. There was no reason for 
her craving a return to the old government. The mildness of par- 
ties, however, permitted the feeble Royalist reaction to go on un- 
checked. The general sentiment of Virginia was undoubtedly Royal- 
ist, but not extreme ; and, in obedience to what was at best a sen- 
timent, the people suffered the King's party to recover without a 
struggle their power in the colony. Some of the old leaders of the 
Puritan party were dead, and the survivors were neither active nor 
decided. They and their followers yielded at a moment when self- 
assertion would have been all- suflScicnt, and afterward resisted in a 
way and at a time when utter overthrow was alone possible for them. 
Hope made the Royalists active, while the Puritans were inert; and 
the former, aided no doubt by the general human desire of being on 
the winning side, carried with them the unresisting mass of the peo- 
ple. This want of foresight and finnness at a critical moment after; 
ward cost the Virginians dear. An opportunity for the establishment 
of liberal and independent government was lost, which no amount of 
subsequent turbulence and rebellion could retrieve. During the pe- 
riod of the Commonwealth another great political question had shown 
itself for the first. time. Treaties had been begun with New England 
and New York, and the bonds connecting Virginia and Maryland had 
been drawn closer. This more general intercourse is the first faint 
indication of the confederating spirit, and was largely due to the rule 
of Cromwell, under which most of the colonies enjoyed the greatest 
measure of freedom they ever obtained while in a state of subjection 
to the parent country. 

Berkeley, on his second accession, was at firet disposed to obey the 


Assembly, and govern after the manner of his Puritan predecessors ; 
bat the news of the Kestoration put the public mind into the same 
transport of Royalist zeal and repentance which was manifested in 
England. This new popular feeling at once threw all the power into 
the hands of the old Royalist faction, who were weak enough and fool- 
ish enough to at once push their advantages to dangerous extremes. 
The Commonwealth men disappeared from the new Assembly, 
and Royalists took their place. An address was voted to the 
King, and a munificent outfit was granted to Berkeley, who went to 
England to protest against the enforcement of the Navigation Act. 
Berkeley, on his return, brought back advantageous patents for him- 
self, but nothing for the colony ; and Clayborne, the last of the Puritan 
leaders, was displaced from his office of Secretary. The power of 
taxation was put into the hands of the Governor and Council for three 
years. The Church of England was re-established, and severe laws 
were passed against Dissenters. Worst of all, the royal government 
at home proceeded to enforce the Navigation Act. As a consequence 
of this last step, tobacco fell to a low price, and imports rose. The 
persecutions of the Dissenters, who had so recently been all-powerful, 
and the navigation laws could lead only to trouble. The first 
outbreak came as early as 1663, when the celebrations of the 
blessed Restoration were still fresh in every one's memory. Public 
feeling, however, was not yet ripe; the plot, conducted by a few ob- 
scure extremists of the Puritan faction, failed miserably, and some 
of the ringleaders were hung. No heed was taken of this warning. 
The profligate government of Charles II. cared only for the money to 
be squeezed from Virginia, and enforced the Navigation Act, until the 
trade of the plantation was almost extinguished. Charles even went 
farther, and granted to Lords Arlington and Culpepper the whole of 
Virginia. Thus the colonists saw themselves deprived not only of 
their trade, but of the very titles to the land they owned, and the vile 
government in England did not in the colony lack petty imitators of 
their feeble policy, or of their groTss comiptions and oppressions. The 
justices levied taxes for their own emolument, and a wretched policy 
of severity was pursued toward the Indians, which exasperated with- 
out subduing them. The Church, in whose behalf the government 
persecuted Dissenters, fell into contempt The priests were licentious 
and incompetent, and corruption and extortion prevailed. Frontier 
forts were established, many of which were useless grievances. In 
1674 a- second revolt was on the point of breaking forth; but there 


were no leaders, and the people, unable to lead themselves, were in- 
duced by some partial reforms to remain quiet There had been 
n6 election of Burgesses since the Restoration, the ultra-royalist 
Assembly then elected having been continued from year to year by 
prorogation. The mere existence of such an Assembly was a constant 
reminder to the people of the liberties they had lost and of the rights 
which were infringed. Everything was in a combustible condition. 
An immediate grievance and a popular leader were alone required to 
produce rebellion, and neither was long wanting. The Indian policy 
led to an Indian war, and for some unexplained reason Berkeley dis- 
banded the forces gathered to repress it. 

We are left to suppose that Berkeley regarded Indian troubles as a 
wholesome antidote to domestic ones. In murders by Indians the 
colonists had a sharp, pressing grievance. In Nathaniel Bacon they 
found a leader. Bacon was a young Englishman who had been but a 
short time in the colony ; but he was one of the Council, and of so great 
a popularity that he not improbably excited the jealousy of Berke- 
ley. He was brave, rich, eloquent, well-meaning, apparently ambi- 
tious, and certainly far from wise. It seems probable that the real 
movers in the business were two planters named Drummond and Law- 
rence, who used Bacon and his popularity to advance their own ends, 
and to accomplish changes more important than the punishment of 
Indian hostilities. Drummond and Lawrence, the latter especially, 
evidently intended a general reform of all the great abuses, and prob- 
ably used the pretext of the Indian wars for this object Bacon, in 
response to the popular call, after having in vain applied for a com- 
mission, marched at the head of a few men against the savages, and in 
the mean time Berkeley proclaimed Bacon and his men rebels, and 
pursued them vainly with troops. While Berkeley was absent the 
revolt became general, breaking out in the lower counties, and he was 
obliged to retreat. The Governor, at last aware of the rising storm, 
had issued writs for a new Assembly, to which Bacon was elected. 
On his way thither Berkeley arrested him, but soon released him on 
parole ; and when the Assembly met. Bacon read at the bar a written 
confession and apology, and was thereupon pardoned and readmitted 
to the Council. Shortly after this submission Bacon fled on suspicion 
of a plot against his life, and returned to Jamestown with a large 
force. After scenes of much excitement, he appealed, not without a 
show of violence, to the Assembly, who made him their general, vin- 
dicated his course, and sent a letter approving him to England. The 


Assembly also endeavored to reform abuses, and were resisted by Berke- 
ley, who, in his turn, wrote a letter to England for aid. The Assem^ 
bly, now entirely committed to Bacon, were persisting in their redress 
of grievances when Berkeley dissolved them. Bacon, powerful both 
by the support of the Assembly and the troops, extorted the necessary 
commissions from the Governor, and marched against the Indians. As 
soon as he was gone Berkeley once more proclaimed him a rebel. 
Bacon, on hearing this news, in the midst of a successful campaign, 
retraced his steps ; and Berkeley, deserted by his troops, fled to Acco- 
mac. Bacon was now supreme. He summoned a convention of all 
the principal men at the Middle Plantation to replace the Assembly, 
and pledged them to his support, and to resistance, even to England, if 
their wrongs were not redressed. He then marched once more against 
the Indians ; but in his absence the fleet which he had sent to capture 
Berkeley was betrayed, and the Governor returned to Jamestown at 
the head of his would-be captors. The Baconians in Jamestown at 
once made peace with Berkeley, and Bacon once more returned. After 
a mere travesty of a siege, Berkeley, again deserted by his men, fled to 
Accomac ; and Bacon, entering Jamestown in triumph, burned thetown. 
Shortly after. Bacon died from a fever contracted in the marshes, and 
his followers scattered at once, to be caught in detail and executed by 
Berkeley. So ended the Virginia rebellion. Nothing was gained ; the 
political energies of the people were exhausted, and they sank back 
into apathy for the next century. Yet every circumstance was favor- 
able to the popular cause. The grievances were intolerable, the whole 
people were ripe for revolt, and their oppressor, Berkeley, was a nar- 
row-minded and tyrannical man of the old Cavalier school, whose pris- 
tine popularity had totally disappeared. As between Bacon and Berke- 
ley there can be but one decision. The former was brave, impetuous, 
and honest ; the latter acted with consistent bad faith from the out- 
set. Yet Bacon was utterly incompetent for the task before him. 
He lacked discretion, and when placed in a position too trying for his 
powers wasted his opportunities, so that his death threw the whole game 
into Berkeley's hands. But the roal causes of the failure of this ill- 
starred insurrection lay deeper. The people were dependent entirely 
on leaders, or, rather, on a leading class, and could not manage for 
themselves. Their sympathies were with Bacon, and when he appeared 
he carried everything with him by sheer force, courage, and readiness 
to bear responsibility. The whole movement rested on Bacon and his 
personal popularity. When Bacon was absent, the people fell back 


helplessly into the hands of Berkeley, the only other man ready to 
take a dctennined lead. But the life of a single man was but a slen- 
der staff to support a successful revolution, and when it broke every- 
thing went to immediate wreck. The people, much as they hated 
Berkeley and longed for reform, had no cohesion, no definiteness of 
aim, and no persistence. The prominent gentlemen at their head hav- 
ing failed them, the Virginians could bring none from their own midst 
to supply their places. With as good a cause and as general a sym- 
pathy as any popular movement ever had, or ever could have, Bacon's 
rebellion came to nothing, and left no impress on the state, because 
the people themselves were not fit to conduct their own affairs in try- 
ing times. In Virginia, while there was plenty of courage, love of 
freedom, and good English pluck, there was not enough of that dogged 
persistence and quiet sagacity which wrung victory from the Stuarts 
in Old and New England. In Virginia resistance became turbulence, 
and revolution degenerated into rebellion. The nature of the immigra- 
tion, the occupations of the people, their mode of life, and the general 
structure of society all led to this result An aristocracy governed the 
country ; but in the time of Bacon it was a timid and half-grown aris- 
tocracy, and when the pinch came it failed. The people, deprived of 
the natural leaders which circumstances gave them, had no substi- 
tutes to put in their place. The powerful aristocracy of 1776 was in 
its youth a century earlier, and in no condition to head, control, and 
lead to a successful issue a great popular movement Society in Vir- 
ginia was so constituted that without strong leaders in the ruling class 
the people were helpless. 

This rebellion, however, was the legitimate result of the great 
movement which had just convulsed England, and which was des- 
tined, before it had spent its force, to remove another Stuart from* 
the English throne. The strength of the movement in Virginia re- 
sided in the Puritan party, which had grown up there during the 
Protectorate. Its weakness lay in the latent royalism of the people, 
in their inability to conduct a slow but persistent resistance, and in 
the failure of the aristocracy. As a result, mismanagement was able 
to waste the power of the movement, and to accelerate the reaction 
which threw Virginia into a state of torpor for nearly a century, and 
long arrested the progress of political development. With the failure 
of Bacon's rebellion the second period in Virginian history comes to 
an end. 

Shortly after Bacon's death arrived an English regiment and royal 


commissioners. The King was disposed to be merciful, and had is- 
sued a proclamation of pardon, but it came too late. Berkeley had 
already butchered a number of influential men, including Drummond, 
and in some cases bad confiscated their estates to his own use. The 
Assembly repealed all Bacon's laws, although they afterward re-enacted 
some of the most salutary, and proved themselves thoroughly subser- 
vient to Berkeley in attainting and condemning whomever he desired, 
although they finally succeeded in checking the executions and miti- 
gating the punishments of the captured insurgents. At last Berkeley 
was recalled, and died soon after his arrival in England, embittered in 
his last moments, according to a most probable story, by the well- 
earned gibe which the amiable Charles flung at him. 

Colonel Herbert Jeffreys succeeded Berkeley, and ruled for 
about a year, until his death in 1678. He was succeeded 
by Sir Heniy Chicheley, Berkeley's Deputy-governor, and he in turn 
by Lord Culpepper, one of the ornaments of Charles's Court and 
councils, upon whom the Governorship of Virginia had been bestow- 
ed for life in 1675. The bad effects arising from the failure of the 
popular movement were soon perceived. The new charter which the 
agents of Virginia had been urgently asking, and with a fair prospect 
of success, was quickly consigned to oblivion. The Assembly was to 
be summoned but once in two years, and was then to have the right 
of sitting for only fourteen days. Culpepper, on his arrival, 
found Virginia tranquil. Jeffreys had made peace with the 
Indians, and the people were disposed to grant anything to the dis- 
penser of royal pardons. Culpepper's sole object, however, was ex- 
tortion, which he freely practised. During his absence in England 
in the following summer, the turbulence of the Virginians broke out 
in renewed disturbances, caused by the low price of tobacco and the 
legislative establishment of ports of shipment. Culpepper, on his re- 
turn, renewed the demand of the commissioners of James I. to exam- 
ine, in behalf of the King, the records of the Assembly — a claim the 
Assembly always resisted. After hanging the leaders in the plant- 
cutting riot, therefore, Culpepper turned his attention to the Assem- 
bly. Robert Beverley, the clerk of the House, and a former adherent 
of Berkeley, refused to give up the records, and was persecuted almost 
to death by the exasperated and arbitrary Governor. Culpepper's 
administration was, as a whole, one of simple greed and violent ex- 
actions, varied by an extensive swindle in raising and lowering the 
value of the coin. By continued absence from his post he soon for- 


felted his patent, and Lord Howard of Effingham succeeded to the 
government of Virginia. He, too, came to make his fortune, and neg- 
lected no means to further that laudahle end. He shared the clerks' 
perquisites, established a new and oppressive Court, cheated 
the Assembly by means of a new seaJ, and carried out in a 
petty way the stupid tyranny of James H. By royal wis- 
dom printing was abolished in Virginia, the prisoners taken in Mon- 
mouth^s rebellion were sent out as convicts, the Navigation Act was en- 
forced, the appointment of all small local officers was absorbed by the 
Governor, and Virginia did not flourish. The Governor became rich- 
er, the province poorer, and the people more discontented, while vol- 
untary immigration almost ceased. The unregulated love of inde- 
pendence and the turbulence which the Virginians mistook for po- 
litical opposition were once more displayed. Censures, imprisonment, 
and general servility were the first effects; then more oppressions, 
riots, and impending insurrection, until Effingham finally embarked 
for England, only to find on his arrival that James had been driven 
from the throne. Thus ended the Stuart domination. The reigns of 
Charles and James, the one contemptible for its meanness and sor- 
did corruption, the other for its weak and stupid oppression, are the 
greatest blots on the history of the English race. Bad enough at 
home, they were even meaner, more oppressive, and more corrupt in 
the provinces, for the people there were more helpless. Like master 
like man : Charles debauched and debased England, and Culpepper 
and Effingham degraded their governments and almost ruined Vir- 
ginia. In the whole range of American colonial history there are to 
be found no administrations at once so contemptible, so sordid, and 
so injurious as those inflicted upon Virginia by the noble governors 
appointed by Charles IL 

One event but little noticed at the time rises above the sorry details 
of this period. In 1684 Virginia sent delegates to Albany to meet 
the agents of Massachusetts and the Governor of New York, in order 
to discuss the Indian troubles. Thus another uncertain step was 
taken on the road to Confederation. Every event of this nature, no 
matter how trifling, acquires importance in marking the slow stages 
by which the principle of union rose by external pressure from the 
jarring interests of separate colonics. 

But little immediate benefit accrued to Virginia from the English 
revolution. Her energies had been wasted in 1675 instead of being 
reserved for 1689, when she could have taken advantage of the times, 


and made solid political gains. Effingham, in England, continued to 
be Governor, and Sir Francis Nicholson, lately expelled by a 
popular rising from New York, came out as deputy. Nichol- 
son tried to endear himself to the people by the common arts of a 
demagogue, while he obeyed his patron in refusing to call an Assem- 
bly until absolutely forced to by popular discontent The only 
event of his administration was the grant of the charter of 
William and Mary College to James Blair, who was for many years a 
noted character in Virginia. An active, energetic Scotchman, brim- 
ming over with the controversial spirit, more of a politician than a 
clergyman, yet zealous in both capacities, James Blair played an im- 
portant part in the colony. He was the head of the college and the 
head of the Church ; and the latter position brought him into constant 
collision with the Governor on ecclesiastical matters, until finally he 
became the leader, and often the successful leader, of the opposition 
party. His success was marred by his disputatious temperament, his 
readiness to quarrel, and his stubbornness of opinion. But his sturdy 
good sense, official position, courage, and high character made him a 
serviceable man to Virginia in days when competent party leaders 
were rarely to be found in the colony. 

Virginia at this time seems to have been selected as a resting-place 
for all unpopular governors. Sir Edmund Andros, fresh from his 
unlucky New England government, succeeded Nicholson. He ap- 
pears to have been somewhat sobered by the treatment of Massa- 
chusetts, and to have considerably softened his arbitrary tastes. His 
administration was, on the whole, a good one ; but he gave offence by 
enforcing the Navigation Act, and fell into the great error of a quarrel 
with the commissary, Blair. After a term of six years, he was suc- 
ceeded by Sir Francis Nicholson, commissioned this time as 
Govemor-in-chief. Nicholson brawled on through his second 
administration for nearly seven years, making many stupid speeches, 
and quaitelling with various persons on a variety of subjects, public 
and private, and ultimately with Dr. Blair, who, after a prolonged 
struggle, defeated him, and drove him from the colony. Although 
arbitrary, Nicholson was not corrupt ; and had he been less violent, and 
not tasked a by no means powerful mind with extended schemes for 
the general defence and government of the colonies, he might have 
made a respectable Governor. As it was, he effected nothing, and the 
most remarkable event of his administration was the control which the 
Assembly succeeded in obtaining over the treasury. By Nicholson^s 


neglect or indifference, the Burgesses made the treasurer of the colony 
an officer of their own. This was a valuable gain at the time, and of 
the highest importance in the future when the purse was the great 
weapon of the Assembly against the Governor. 

In 1704 the Earl of Orkney was made titukr Governor of Virginia, 
a sinecure which he held for forty years at an annual profit of 
£1200. Edward Nott was the first deputy under this new ar- 
rangement, and died in office, after an uneventful administration of 
two years. Robert Hunter was appointed his successor; but the ship in 
which he sailed was captured, and on his return to England he received 
another government in lieu of that of Virginia. Connection with one 
of the greatest Englishmen of the day has given to Hunter*s name a 
peculiar interest. Jonathan Swift was his friend, and desired to go 
out with him as Bishop of Virginia. The plan was seriously discussed 
between the two, and there are several allusions to it in Swiff s jour- 
nals and letters ; but for some unexplained reason the scheme came 
to nothing. The incident lies outside the path of Virginian history. 
It concerns a Governor who never arrived, and a man who rarely re- 
ferred to the American colonies except as the abodes of malefactors. 
Yet when the name of Swift indirectly and faintly touches the theme 
of Virginian history, we cannot but turn aside to speculate on the pos- 
sible results to the colonies and to the world if that dark and mighty 
genius of the reign of Anne had been transferred to America as the 
head of the English Church in the young West 

The history of Virginia at this time becomes little more than a list 
of governors, well-meaning men of ordinary abilities, who for 
the most part conducted their governments in a lumbering, 
quiet fashion, treating the people pretty well, and, as a nile, doing lit- 
tle to improve the methods of administration or develop the resources 
of the country. On the other hand, the nagging resistance of the 
Burgesses to the Governor, simply because he was a Governor, and 
therefore made to quarrel with, now begins. Yet it was this snarling, 
and often unreasonable and factious but ever persistent and watchful 
opposition, which slowly trained the people, accustomed them to Par- 
liamentary and constitutional principles, and gradually raised their 
political thought to the level of 1776. In this period of rest, too, the 
various social elements which had gathered in Virginia during the 
stormy years of the seventeenth century crystallized. It was then 
that the social fabric which we find in existence when the English 
colonics entered upon their career as a nation was built up and con- 


solidated. Politically barren as the eigbteenth century is in Virginian, 
and, indeed, in all tbe colonial history, it is socially tbe most impor- 
tant period. From those times we can learn who and what the peo- 
ple were who fought the Revolution and founded the United States. 

In the interval which ensued after the death of Nott, natives of the 
province, all Virginian grandees, were at the head of affairs as Presi- 
dents of the Council. At last a new Governor came to them 
in the person of Alexander Spotswood, a Scotchman and a 
soldier, active and energetic — the best of the eighteenth century gov- 
ernors — and possessed of some imagination and of enlarged views. 
Spotswood brought with him the grant of the writ of Habeas Corpus, 
and, thus provided, made friends with his first Assembly. He was high- 
ly pleased with his prospects, and his description of the colony reflects 
very accurately the grateful political lethargy into which Virginia had 
sunk. Spotswood says : " This government is in perfect peace and 
tranquillity, under a due obedience to the royal authority, and a gen- 
tlemanly conformity to the Church of England." The political apa- 
thy of the times was deep enough, but it was not such absolute tor- 
por as the new Governor supposed, and he wa& soon rudely unde- 
ceived on this point The next year we find him wrangling with his 

Spotswood, however, proved himself very superior to the ordinary 
run of colonial governors. His enterprise and his liberal opinions, 
indeed, became the causes of his recall by the Home Government, who 
did not at that period admire too great a display of such qualities ; 
but while in office Spotswood did much for the colony. He subdued 
an insurrection in North Carolina; fought and finally made peace 
with the Indians ; and endeavored sedulously, but in vain, to improve 
the condition of the Church. His attempts at ecclesiastical reforms 
only led him into fresh difficulties, and final collision with Commis- 
sary Blair, and ultimate defeat at the hands of the vestries. Spots- 
wood also, at his own expense, sought to carry out various benevolent 
schemes for the civilization of the savages, and established schools 
for them at outlying posts, where he placed competent teachers. The 
principal school was at Christanna, where he had at one time over 
seventy Indian children in regular attendance. The years of peace 
with the Indians, obtained by Spotswood's policy, gave opportunity 
for extending the settlements, for a great development of material 
prosperity, and for the growth and consolidation of an aristocracy 
capable of furnishing leaders to the people of Virginia. The Gov- 


eraor's activity also brought about friendly relations witb the colo- 
nists of the Carolinas, whom the Virginians assisted against the In- 
dians as well as in their domestic difficulties, and thus began to knit 
the bonds which afterward held together the Southern group of colo- 
nies. Spotswood also directed his energies to exploration, and led a 
party in peraon across the Blue Ridge — an expedition which made no 
little noise in its day. He strove to organize the militia and put it 
in good condition for service, and he strenuously urged the home 
government to build a line of forts on the western frontier, to guard 
against Indian attacks and possible French encroachments. The 
events of the French war fully justified the soundness and wise fore- 
sight of this advice, but at the moment it only served to hasten the 
recall of the over-zealous governor who had devised it Spotswood 
was a vigorous administrator, but, like many other men of the same 
type of mind, ho lacked capacity to deal successfully with those who 
differed from him. He could originate and command, but he could 
neither manage nor conciliate. He wrangled with the Assembly 
throughout' his administration, and the Bui'gesses found him a diffi- 
cult man to control. Taxes were, of coui-se, the chief bone of conten- 
tion ; and as the Governor was able and determined, while the Bui^ 
gcsses were factious and obstinate, the course of public affairs seldom 
ran very snioothly. 

Spotswood was replaced by Hugh Drysdale, a great contrast to 
his bustling predecessor, and a mild, inoffensive man, who 
at once made peace with the opposition, and died after four 
years of tranquil rule. He was succeeded by William Gooch, an- 
other Scotchman and soldier, who came in with Georece II. 
at the moment when Walpole had just obtained a fresh lease 
of power. By his own shrewdness, which led him to form a coali- 
. tion with the Council, in which the royal quit-rents alone were sacri- 
ficed, and by the flourishing cbndition of the colony, now reaping 
the benefits of Spotswood's administration, Gooch ruled Virginia 
acceptably and well for twenty-two years. This long term was the 
most uneventful period in the annals of the province. The Governor 
was moderate and sensible, and the usual contentions were in great 
measure avoided. The most important event of all these years was 
the co-operation of Virginia and her sister colonies with the mother 
country in the fruitless expedition against Carthagena, which 
served merely as one more step in the development of union. 
Wealth and population increased rapidly while Gooch was ruling 


the province so quietly. Printing was introduced, education began 
to be slowly diffused, and its improving effects felt among the upper 
classes of society. The close of Gooch's othei'wise calm administra- 
tion was disturbed by religious difficulties. The loose and often 
licentious character of the clergy made the Established Church but 
a feeble bulwark against the tide of religious enthusiasm which swept 
in with Whitefield, and the old cry was therefore raised against dis- 
senters by those who found the Established Cliurch in conformity 
with their habits and valuable to their worldly interests, if not bene- 
ficial to their souls. In submission to this feeling, Gooch attempted 
to suppress heterodox opinions by all the powers of the State, and 
there was a good deal of petty persecution, which left the Church 
weaker and more unpopular even than before. 

After Gooch^s departure there was a short interval of Presidents 

of the Council as acting governors, and then a successor from 
J ^^' England, Robert Din widdie, whose administration was the dawn 

of a new era in Virginia, The long repose was broken, and 
the forces that had been gathering strength began to come in play. 
Din widdie started with a large amount of unpopularity, which he had 
incurred when surveyor of customs in the colony ; and this dislike of 
the new Governor wa.'^ not diminished by his announcement of the 
royal dissent to several bills which had received the approbation of 
Gooch. He also interfered oppressively with the ordinary method 
of acquiring land by a simple warrant of suiTcy, and demanded in- 
stead a formal patent, accompanied by a fee for the official seal. In 

1753 the Assembly remonstrated against this extortion and 

injustice ; and remonstrance now had deep meaning, for the 
colony was no longer poor and weak as at the time of Bacon's re- 
bellion. Once more, after a long interval of quiet, Virginia found 
herself opposed to her Governor on a question of principle. But 
times had greatly changed since she had last occupied this hostile at- 
titude. Her revenues were good, her population had increased and 
consolidated, and there was a large, wealthy, united, and patriotic aris- 
tocracy ready to lead the people intelligently and well. In this first 
instance of resistance the Assembly sent Peyton Randolph to Eng- 
land, with a handsome salary, to protest against the Govemor^s action, 
and they denounced any one who should submit to the exactions of 
the new patents. The current of parliamentary resistance in Virginia 
began to flow in those channels which have always led either to re- 
dress or revolution. At the next session the Burgesses refused sup- 


plies, on the ground that their privileges were in danger. These were 
ominous words, and might well have recalled to Dinwiddie the lan- 
guage of another English Assembly a hundred years before. At the 
next meeting, in January, 1754, they voted £10,000, but clog- 
ged the bill with various provisos against invasions by pre- 

But events were near which were destined to throw power still 
more into the hands of the representatives of the people. America 
was on the eve of great changes, in which Virginia was to take a 
prominent pait. While the long repose which the policy of Walpole 
gave to England and her dependencies had allowed the political en- 
ergies of the people to gather once more the force which had been 
expended in the conflicts of the seventeenth century, a new and im- 
portant element in colonial questions had come into existence. An- 
other nation had gradually assumed a position which made it a 
weighty factor in the development of the English empire in America. 
The French had extended their power by means of their influence 
with the Indians, and having slowly worked their way to the valley 
of the Ohio, now planned to connect by a chain of forts their pos- 
sessions in Canada and Louisiana, and thus hem in the English colo- 
nies and prevent their progress toward the West. It was a grand 
though impracticable scheme, and its overthrow was to cost the blood 
and treasui*e of a world-wide war. 

In London, about this time, an Ohio company had been formed, 
in which Dinwiddie and many prominent Virginians were inter- 
ested. Thus colonization was to be favored and extended, and 
it was now inevitable that French and English should soon come 
into collision. When they did so, the first effect was to throw the 
power in the colonies into the hands of those who laid taxes. In 
this way the Virginian Assembly, working on Dinwiddie's necessities, 
and aided by their control of the finances through the medium of 
the treasurer, affirmed and established their supremacy in the State. 
That the substantial victory remained with the Assembly is shown 
by the fact that in 1754 they granted £20,000 without limitations, 
despite their quarrels about granting half that amount a few months 
before. Thus the Burgesses gained their first victory ; but the war 
had two other important results, which greatly affected the future 
march of events. It removed the hostile power which had served t«> 
bind them to the powerful protection of the mother country, and it 
taught the colonists the force and value of united strength. 


To trace the history of Virginia during this great conflict is to fol- 
low the career of one man. The long period of dependent life is 
over; the dead level of colonial history is at an end ; the monotonous 
average of provincial respectability is broken, and great men rise up 
whose characters and abilities have shed an enduring lustre upon 
the land which gave them birth. The time had come when Virginia 
would produce great leaders in abundance. The most illustrious of 
all these distinguished men was the first to step upon the stage of 
public affairs, and as we follow the early life of George Washington 
we are borne on through all the swaying fortunes of his native State 
in the long and bitter struggles of the old French war. 

Washington sprang from a good English stock, and from one of 
the best families in Virginia. As a boy he was fond of out -door 
life and athletic sports ; but the most striking fact, except his very 
meagre education, about his early years, is the soberness of mind and 
solidity of judgment which he displayed from the fii-st. We can 
hardly imagine Washington destitute of some heavy responsibility. 
As a lad of sixteen, surveying in the wilds of West Virginia, he mani- 
fested the prudence and discretion which marked his subsequent ca- 
reer. In the care of his brother's estate he showed the same unself- 
ishness and fidelity as when he filled the Presidential chair, and was 
trusted by a nation. His early mission to the French brought out in 
the strongest way his habits of mind and great moral qualities. An 
Adjutant -general and Major in the Virginian militia at the age of 
nineteen, Washington was selected by Dinwiddle to negotiate with 
the Indians and the French at Fort Du Quesne. His minute journal 
of that expedition has been preserved, and reads like the account of 
an experienced man well past middle life. Not only is there none of 
the fun, but there is none of the exuberance of youth. The narrative 
is clear, condensed, and vigorous; but there is throughout the all- 
pervading sense of responsibility, and the truthful, forcible simplici- 
ty which gave to all Washington's writings that gray soberness of 
thought and expression which commands the deepest respect and 
most implicit confidence, even if it does not excite our imagination. 
In every event of this dangerous journey we see the unerring judg- 
ment, the deep sagacity, and the marvellous foresight which made 
Washington a king of men. The conduct of this perilous mission 
was in every way characteristic. Dangers were met and overcome ; 
hardships were endured; crafty savages were outwitted and timid 
ones encouraged, and neither hostile Indians nor courteous and deceit- 


ful Frenchmen coold divert Wasbington from his object, or mislead 
bis understanding for a moment All the success possible under tbe 
circumstances was obtained, and this early mission and tbe journal 
wbicb preserves its bistory reflect alike tbose qualities of mind and 
character with which tbe world has become familiar. 

On his return, Washington was appointed to tbe second place in 
the little Virginian army, and soon after marched with a small troop 
in advance of the main body against the enemy. At the Little 
Meadows be surprised a party of French and Indians. A skirmish 
ensued, and M. de Jumonville, a young French officer, was killed. 
Thus was shed the first blood in a war which spread over the whole 
globe, and the results of which were a principal factor in the Ameri- 
can Revolution. The death of De Jumonville is one of tbe trifling 
events in history which gain from accidental circumstances a start- 
ling dramatic efl^ect It reveals Washington as the leading figure in 
a petty affray which was the signal for a world-wide conflict, tbe 
prologue to that great revolutionary drama which, opening in a Mas- 
sachusetts village, rolled on for nearly half a century, involving all 
the civilized nations of tbe earth in its progress, and closed at last 
upon the plains of Waterloo. Thus the greatest man of the great 
revolutionary period was present at the obscure beginning of those 
mighty changes which convulsed the world, and conducted the petty 
action which was the nominal cause of a long and devastating war. 

On leaving the Little Meadows, Washington was joined by the 
main body of the army, and the death of bis colonel soon after left 
him in command. He pushed on, and passed the Great Meadows, to 
which, however, he was soon forced to return, pursued by a large body 
of the enemy. Throwing himself into the stockade fort which he 
had built at the Meadows, be prepared to defend himself ; but he 
was greatly outnumbered, and relief was hopeless. Rather than pro- 
long a useless contest, he therefore surrendered on honorable terms, 
and returned to Virginia, where bis services and misfortunes were un- 
derstood, and where he was received with all honor. He soon after 
stood forward as the champion of the provincial ofllcers by refusing to 
submit to the degradation in rank which they were forced to undergo 
when associated with tbose who bore the royal commission. Rather 
than suffer such an indignity and injustice, Washington resigned ; but 
stirring times were at hand, and a man of his talents and reputation, 
filled with longing for a military career, could not remain in retire- 
ment From the feeble and inauspicious beginning of a handful of 


provincials, the war had begun to assume vast dimensions. Edward 
Braddock, general and commander-in-chief of all the forces 
in America, was sent out by the British Government, together 
with a fine body of veteran troops. His arrival created a great sen- 
sation in Virginia, which looked with admiration on the splendid sol- 
diery of Europe. Almost his first act, and the wisest one of his brief 
career in America, was to invite Washington to enter his military 
family — an invitation which was at once accepted. If all Braddock's 
actions had been as sensible as this, he would have met with a very 
different fate ; but he had all the ignorance and arrogance of an Eng- 
lishman of that period in regard to America. He came prepared to 
despise the provincials, and he was profoundly irritated by the apathy 
of the legislatures and the difficulty of supplying his requirements ; 
but as his contempt increased, so did his unpopularity. The more he 
raged and stormed, the more sullen and uncomplying became the tem- 
per of all about him. Washington expostulated, but in vain ; and 
if it had not been for the exertions of Benjamin Franklin, Brad- 
dock might have waited a lifetime before he would have obtained 
the necessary means of transportation. At last the army, counting 
about two thousand effective men, of whom one-half were regulars, 
started from Will's Creek early in June. They pushed on slowly 
toward Fort Du Quesne, encountering every sort of difficulty, and 
making but little headway. Washington offered a great deal of 
good advice, which was sometimes taken, but much oftener rejected ; 
until at last Braddock's provincial mentor was struck down by a fe- 
ver, and obliged to see the army march on without him. Ho man- 
aged to overtake it, however, before the culmination of the campaign, 
and in season to be present at the disastrous fight near Fort Du 
Quesne. Braddock, I'elying on discipline alone, and guided only by 
European experience, marched straight into an ambush, was surprised 
by a motley crowd of French and Indians, insisted on fighting in pla- 
toons and according to recognized principles, and saw his men picked 
off by an invisible enemy without being able to return a single effec- 
tive shot. The result was ruin and massacre. In that scene of car- 
nage Washington displayed the highest courage and efficiency, and 
finally brought off the wounded and dying general and the shattered 
remnants of the army. The fame of this ill-starred expedition is a 
good proof of its importance ; but this importance consists not so 
much in the comparative magnitude of the expedition, or the sudden- 
ness of its destruction, as in the lessons which it taught. Braddock 



and his army were typical of British arrogance, courage, and obstina- 
cy. They offered to the colonists the spectacle of the finest troops in 
the world butchered by savages because of their own unconquerable 
ignorance and unwillingness to learn. They showed conclusively, 
also, that the Englishman, as such, was not necessarily braver than 
the American, while the latter understood the exigencies of American 
warfare far better. The awe inspired by the British arms was bro- 
ken, and the British army was no longer a name to conjure with. 

On his return from BraddocFs expcdition,Washington was put in 
command of all the Virginian troops. During the years of war which 
followed this appointment he occupied a position curiously like that 
which he filled in the war for Independence. The Assembly was 
friendly and well meaning, but as incompetent in execution as most 
legislative bodies. The Governor, Dinwiddie, was more competent, 
perhaps, in administration than the Burgesses ; but he was unreason- 
able and headstrong, domineering, and at times insulting. Wash- 
ington, generally beloved and popular with all classes, was in a posi- 
tion where he was expected to accomplish wonders, without means 
being provided to effect anything. Doing the best under the circum- 
stances, writing bold, urgent letters to the Assembly and the Gov- 
ernor, planning radical remedies, and putting up with temporary ex- 
pedients, responsible for everything, and supported in nothing, Wash- 
ington appears at this time in an attitude which was typical of almost 
his whole military career. But while Washington was thus contend- 
ing with difficulties, the war was running its course. Frenchmen and 
Indians were ravaging the frontier, the inhabitants were massacred, 
and the back settlements broken up. The whole country was in 
alarm and constantly pillaged, yet nothing was done. There 
is a famous passage in one of Washington's letters which 
brings aill this suffering and wretchedness vividly before us: "The 
supplicating tears of the women," ho writes to Dinwiddie, " and mov- 
ing petitions of the men, melt me into such deadly sorrow, that I 
solemnly declare, if I know my own mind, I could offer myself a 
willing sacrifice to the butchering enemy, provided that would con- 
tribute to the people's ease." There are here revealed not only the 
miseries of the country and the trials of Washington's situation, but 
that keen sense of responsibility and public duty in which no other 
man ever equalled him. The pathos of the sentence comes from 
the passionate force of that strong reserved nature, moved at last to 
open expression. For the moment it was all in vain. Lord Loudon 


came and went as commander-in-chief, left his name to a Virgin- 
ian county — which was all the province that he never visited, ob- 
tained from him as Governor and successor to Dinwiddie — and did 
nothing. The weary struggle dragged on, and even Washington, 
worn out with vexation and fatigue, retired for a time. But at 
last Mr. Pitt came to the head of affairs in England, and all 
was altered. Francis Fauquier, ruined at the gaming-table, 
but fascinating and high-bred, a gentleman and scholar, a charm- 
ing companion and a popular Governor, came to rule over Virginia ; 
but this was the least and most unimportant of the changes. Under 
Mr. Pitt men came to America to serve England ; armies and fleets 
were sent, and money was poured out in all directions. All were im- 
bued with the spirit of the Great Commoner. General Forbes, who 
was in command in Virginia, Avas able to gather a numerous and ex- 
cellent army. Slowly and carefully, rather stupidly perhaps, Forbes 
pushed on for Fort Du Quesne, not at all in the way in which Colo- 
nel Washington, who was in command of the advance, desired. The 
capital mistakes of Braddock, however, were not repeated, although 
the French surprised and nearly destroyed a large detachment sent 
forward nndcr Grant. But this was not enough to check the English. 
The French stronghold, owing largely to the efforts of Mr. Pitt and 
the British navy, was doomed, and the brave garrison, deserting their 
hopeless post, permitted Forbes to march in unmolested, and name 
his conquest Fort Pitt. This practically closed the vfBX so far 
as Virginia was concerned, and Colonel Washington was able 
to withdraw to Mount Vernon, and remain there with the wife he had 
just married. In the North the war went on for two years 
longer. Wolfe took Quebec the first summer, and the next 
saw Montreal and Canada in the hands of the British. Two 
years now passed by. Pitt was driven from oflSce, and peace was 
concluded under the auspices of Bute, while Frederick of Prussia soon 
followed England's example. The map of Europe was not changed, 
but the destiny of America was determined. England retained Can- 
ada, the Floridas, and the Great West as far as the Mississippi. 
Henceforth the English race was to rule unquestioned upon 
the North American continent. But these vast changes were 
only preliminary to still greater ones. The French war had cleared 
the way for the momentous questions involved in the future relations 
of the English colonics with the mother country. The thirteen prov- 
inces were disclosed to the eyes of England in all their immense and 


hitherto unnoticed vahie. Territories so vast, a people so numerous, 
so wealthy, and so enterprising, could no longer be neglected. The 
old, slow, let-alone policy of Walpole was clearly insufficient, and 
must be abandoned. These were the thoughts which filled the minds 
of English statesmen when the clouds of war which had so long en- 
veloped the world rolled slowly away. But if the lessons of the war 
were just, their practical application became fatal in the hands of the 
men to whom it was committed. 

The teaching of the war, so much considered in England, was not 
lost upon the colonies. With the close of the French war the whole 
current of American history changes. Not only did that struggle 
bring the colonies together in a common cause, but it destroyed the 
power of France in America. Fear of France no longer bound the 
colonies to the parent State. Their loyalty in the future depended 
on the policy of England alone. 

For Virginia these years had been especially useful. She had learned 
that the King's troops were not invincible ; she had tested her own 
resources, and she had proved the strength and independence of her 
Assembly. While Washington was neglected on the frontier, and 
even before Dinwiddle and the Assembly quarrelled, the Governor 
had discovered that without great assistance from England he was 
sure to be worsted in every encounter. Whatever right there was in 
the questions then at issue was probably with Dinwiddle, who had to 
carry on a defensive war ; but none the less did the Assembly put 
him down and assert their own independence. As the war drifted 
away from her borders, Virginia, under the genial nile of Fauquier, 
took breath after her exertions and hailed with delight the peace 
which marked the triumphs of England. But the lull was only mo- 
mentary. Now that the terrible fear which hung over the West- 
em border was removed, men began to watch the progress of their 
domestic a&irs more closely, and to scrutinize most narrowly every 
incident in their relations with the mother country. The past had 
shown that things never went smoothly unless the policy of non- 
intervention, except in a beneficent manner, was adhered to by Eng- 
land. Virginians were thoroughly loyal, but they liked to manage 
their own affairs in their own way ; and now that they began to be 
conscious of their strength, and to know their own importance, they 
were very quick to detect any meddling, and equally ready to resent it. 
Interference on the part of England was certain, sooner or later, espe- 
cially when ministers had come to the conclusion that America was 


not governed enough, and only the most delicate and judicious treat- 
ment could avert the worst results. The rejoicings which greeted the 
return of peace bad not died away when the inevitable collision came. 
This first conflict was brief and comparatively unimportant ; but it 
acquires an immense significance as an exponent of the new spirit 
which was abroad, and was the forerunner of revolution. 

In 1755 the Assembly passed, under the pressure of war and gen- 
eral distress, a relief act providing that for the next ten months all 
debts due in tobacco (the standard of value in the colony) might bo 
paid either in kind or in money, at the rate of twopence per pound of 
tobacco. The year was one of great scarcity, and tobacco rose to 
sixpence per pound. The result of the act, therefore, was a virtual 
repudiation of about sixty-six per cent, of all existing debts. As the 
State and the great mass of the people were debtors, the act seems to 
have met with general acceptance, and to have encountered but little 
opposition. So satisfactory, indeed, did the act prove to the ma- 
jority of the voters, that in 1758, in anticipation of another short 
crop of tobacco, another relief act, determining anew the rate for to- 
bacco in the payment of all debts, was passed^ There was one class 
in the community whose salary was fixed by law at 16,000 pounds 
of tobacco, and upon whom this forced reduction of debts seemed 
therefore to weigh with peculiar severity. This was the clergy. De- 
riving some benefit, probably, from the operation of the first act, the 
ministers had contented themselves with petitioning the Assembly 
for a more liberal maintenance; but the second act fell upon them 
with full force, and although there was no apparent intention of es- 
pecially abridging their income, they now broke out into violent op- 
position. A bitter controversy ensued which drew down the utmost 
popular odium upon the ministers. At last the clergy appealed to 
the King in Council, and Sherlock, the Bishop of London, denounced 
the act as hostile to the prerogative, and tending to withdraw the alle- 
giance of the people from the Crown. On the other side, Colonel 
Bland defended the act as justified by its most salutary end, the pres- 
ervation of the people. This he boldly put forward as the highest duty, 
and one which took precedence of every other, and rendered treason im- 
possible. The King, however, denounced the act as a usurpation, and 
declared it null and void. The clergy thereupon brought suits to re- 
cover the unpaid salary, and the Court of Hanover County, in a test case, 
decided the point of law in favor of the plaintiff, the Rev. James Mau- 
ry, holding that the royal disapprobation made the act void ab initio. 


They ordered that the plaintiff should go before a jury to determine 
the amount of damages, which, after their decision, appeared a mere- 
ly formal matter. The counsel for the defendants, who were the col- 
lectors of the county, retired from the case. It was, indeed, a forlorn- 
hope, and the defendants were obliged to employ a briefless young 
lawyer who, after six months' study, had just been admitted to the Bar. 
But this young lawyer was Patrick Henry, and the argument he was 
about to make was the second eloquent appeal, as that of Otis on the 
Avrits of assistance had been the first, to the independence of America 
from the domination of the English Crown. The son of respectable 
parents, and connected with the aristocracy of Virginia, Henry was 
utterly unknown, except to his immediate circle, and even there very 
unfavorably." As he stood before the magistrates in the little Vir- 
ginia court-house in November, 1763, to defend a desperate cause, 
the gentlemen on the bench could hardly have regarded him with 
partial eyes. Uncouth in form and rugged in feature, as he stum- 
bled over the first sentences of his speech, his father's friends and 
neighbors, who filled the court-room, probably expected that one more 
failure was to be added to the record of an unsuccessful career. Al- 
though well-born, Henry appeared to those about liim as the boy who 
had early left school but half-educated, to devote himself to fishing 
and hunting, to indolent hours of dreaming in the woods and by the 
banks of streams, and to the violin and the dances of the Virginian 
plantation. His serious occupations had been even worse than his 
idle amusements. An unsuccessful farmer, a broken tradesman, a 
tavern-keeper, earning a precarious living, and now a hastily prepared 
lawyer who had barely gained admission to the Bar, this thriftless fel- 
low and jolly companion seemed hardly likely to sustain a failing 
cause before all the respectability of his native county. 

But the hour had come and the man. As Henry broke through 
the trammels of hesitation and embarrassment the words began to 
come, the deep -set gray eyes began to flash, and the great orator 
stood forth before the astonished eyes of the planters, farraere, and 
clergymen who had gathered in the Hanover Court-house. Of all 
that brilliant rhetoric and savage invective not a word remains, but 
the theme which drew it out is as distinct in every contemporary 
record as the person of the orator himself. Henry brushed aside all 
legal points — he knew little of them, and cared less ; and, moreover, 
the law was utterly against him. With the intuitive perception of 
the great advocate, he seized the one point on which he knew he could 


move his countrjmen. He left the narrow field of tlie law for the 
broad ground of political principle. He did not strive to convince 
men's reason, but he appealed to their innate convictions, their pas- 
sions, their emotions. He declared that a king who annulled good 
laws dissolved his compact with the people, and was a tyrant ; that, 
unless the jury were disposed to rivet the chains of bondage, they would 
sustain the authority of the representatives of the people. Henry^s 
eloquence was irresistible, his arguments appealed to the heart of ev- 
ery man present, the jury awarded merely nominal damages, and the 
orator was borne from the court-house upon the shoulders of his ex- 
cited auditors. Henry became from that moment a great popular 
leader ; but the importance of the event does not lie in the fact that 
a famous orator then made his first success or won a hopeless case. 
"The Parson's Cause" deserves lasting remembrance, because Henry 
then gave utterance to the latent feeling of the community. He 
owed much of his greatness to being the first in Virginia, and the 
second in America, to express in words what every one was thinking 
more or less indistinctly. Henry's whole speech resolves itself into 
one proposition : " The Colony of Virginia must manage her own af- 
fairs in her own way, and she cannot brook outside interference." 
Henry's voice was the voice of the people, and its warning note 
sounds clearly enough now across the chasm of a century. But in 
1763 it was lost in a multitude of confused ephemeral noises, and 
passed by unheard. Perhaps England, if she had heard, would not 
have stopped to listen and to understand ; but the next time he spoke 
she heard him, and attended, although she failed to learn the great 
truths of which he was the exponent. Other signs, however, were 
not wanting, and they all pointed in the same direction. Some were 
of little importance ; others, as, for example, the appointment of a 
Bishop, and the enforcement of the laws of trade, excited the bit- 
terest resistance. But all alike announced in unmistakable language 
that Englishmen in America were too powerful and too many not to 
govern themselves freely through their own representatives. Unfort- 
unately the theory that America was not enough governed, and that 
she did not contribute enough to the expenses of the mother country, 
had taken deep root in the minds of English statesmen. Pitt, with 
his high and generous policy and enlarged views, had gone from of- 
fice, and his successors were just clever enough to see the defects in 
the colonial system without having the wisdom to grasp all the con- 
ditions of the case and apply the proper remedies. The chief objects 


of the new ministers were to maintain a standing army, to enforce 
the navigation laws, and to lay taxes upon the colonists in order to 
exact their proper contribution to the financial burdens of the Em- 
pire. The execution of these plans by means of the Stamp Act and 
revenue laws led to the first Congress, to the union of the colonies, 
to resistance to England, and finally to war. Virginia was the first 
to sound the alarm against the Stamp Act in the famous resolutions 
of May, 1765, introduced by Henry and advocated by him in the 
now celebrated speech comparing George IIL to Caesar and Charles L 
Fauquier's management prevented the choice of delegates, and Vir- 
ginia was not represented at the Congress in New York, but she 
warmly supported its action, and sent to England a declaration of 
similar principles. With the Congress of 1765, and the measures 
which led to and succeeded it, the thirteen provinces began to live a 
national life, and the history of Virginia unites with the great current 
of the history of the United States. 


Chapter II. 


Without a knowledge of her social, feconomical, and political con- 
dition, the great part played by Virginia in the history of the United 
States is almost unintelligible. The always difficult task of recon- 
structing on paper a past society is enhanced in the case of Virginia 
by the almost total want of contemporary literature. Thi& want is 
not supplied by private con'espondence. If intelligent letters or jour- 
nals were written, they have not come down to us. In the middle of 
the eighteenth century Virginian society was not much given to liter- 
ary pursuits of any sort; and when the correspondence of the great 
leaders of the Revolution begins, the stem interests of war and politics 
drove from men's minds and from their letters the simple details of 
e very-day life. To summon up the past in Virginia, we must turn to 
the dry narratives of travellers, the gossiping histories of families and 
churches, and the yellow pages of old newspapers. 

Virginia has altered as little probably as any State in the Union ; 
but in this country of rapid changes, and after a century of hur- 
ried progress and unexampled development, closing with a civil war 
which utterly wrecked the social system of the South, it may be safely 
said that nothing now remains of the ancient Dominion of the year 
1765. The great physical features of the country are of course the 
same. There are still the rich soil, the genial climate, the noble rivers, 
the safe and capacious harbors, which greeted the eyes of John Smith 
and his companions. The face of the country, moreover, is but little 
changed since the middle of the last century. More territory has 
been cleared and utilized, but great tracts of wild land still remain 
untouched. "Where a hundred years ago there were a few scattered 
villages, there are now some respectable towns ; but no great cities, 
in obedience to the laws of modem civilization, have sprung up upon 
Virginian soil. Tet the whole fabric of society has been radically 


altered. Even in 1822, long before the far-reaching changes effected 
by the extinction of slavery, John Randolph of Roanoke could say 
with truth : '^ Traces of the same manners could be found some years 
subsequent to the adoption of the Federal Constitution — say to the 
end of the century. At this time not a vestige remains. We are a 
new people." 

To draw an accurate picture of the vanished society lamented by 
Randolph, it is first necessary to ascertain the numbers of the people. 
Accurate government statistics had then no existence, and we arc 
forced to rely upon the estimates of individuals. The figures gener- 
ally accepted, therefore, are at best only approximately true. For the 
year 1650 a contemporary tract gives fifteen thousand whites and 
three hundred negroes as the population of Virginia, It is worth 
while to pause a moment here in order to get a general notion of 
Virginia in the middle of the seventeenth century, for we are thus en- 
abled to see the germs of the subsequent development From the 
scanty material which the time affords, a rough sketch can bo made 
of the first colony planted by Englishmen in America fifty years 
after its foundation. The race had then finally taken root in its new 
home, and the lines of social and political development were already 
marked out. The results seem at first sight small, but they represent 
stability of existence, the first great prize wrung from the wilderness. 
From the tract just referred to, other statistics than those of popula- 
tion may be gathered. Imported cattle, as well as horses, swine, goats, 
and fowls, had thriven in Virginia. The flocks and herds, sure signs 
of permanency and well-being, had increased and multiplied, and be- 
come a source of wealth to their owners. Agriculture had taken a 
firm hold, and was the main support of the people. Tobacco, the 
source of Virginian wealth, was then as always the gi*eat staple ; but 
the more familiar products of English soil were not lacking. Wheat 
and com were raised in sufiBcient quantities to supply the plantations. 
Hops were successfully cultivated, and good beer brewed, to the satis- 
faction, doubtless, of the colonists, who had not left their tastes and 
habits behind them. Vines were indigenous, and grapes plentiful, 
while imported fruit-trees took so kindly to the new soil that fine 
orchards had already become a part of every plantation. Trade had 
grown up with the other colonies and the West India Islands, as well 
as with the mother country. Small vessels for the coasting trade and 
for fishing had been built, and pitch, potashes, furs, and lumber were 
exported in considerable quantities. Other industries showed but 


feeble signs of life. Efforts had been made to establish iron-works 
and introdace silk cultare, but with little success. 

Colonel Norwood, a Royalist refugee, who Avas wrecked on the 
American coast, left a journal recounting his adventures, and among 
other incidents his first reception by a Virginia farmer. From his 
biicf account it may be gathered that the circumstances of this plant- 
er, although rough and simple, were not uncomfortable. The table 
to which the shipwrecked traveller was welcomed seems to have been 
plentifully supplied with the fine game of the country and the whole- 
some products of the plantation. The host was dressed in coarse, 
strong homespun, and would seem to have been contented. This was 
probably the condition of most of the planters at that period. They 
had comfortable houses of wood or brick in the midst of large es- 
tates, which yielded all crops in profusion. They lived in compara- 
tive solitude, scattered along the banks of rivers and isolated in the 
great forests, holding little intercourse with each other or with the 
outside world. Almost the only highways were the great natural 
watercourses ; and the annual ship from England, laden with goods 
to pay for tobacco, was the great event in their lives. Except for the 
little village of Jamestown, there was nothing even resembling a town. 
Alone on the edge of the ocean, it seemed as if the wilderness behind 
must, by the sheer force of its vast desolation, drive the colonists into 
the sea. Strange stories were cuiTent of marvellous and abnormal 
races of men beyond the mountains, which were supposed to be wash- 
ed on the other side by the waves of the Indian Ocean.* Nothing 
but the sturdy and unimaginative nature of the Anglo-Saxon race 
could have enabled the Virginians to support their solitary life in the 
seventeenth century. 

Their political instincts were as keen as in the mother country, 
whose customs and laws they had brought with them. Except for 
the brief period of the Protectorate, the suffrage was carefully limit- 
ed, and class distinctions were always maintained. The Established 
Church was supreme, and dissent met with harsh and intolerant treat- 
ment. The planters exercised their political faculties as sharply in 
the little Assembly at Jamestown as did their English cousins in Lon- 
don. Slavery was as yet trifling in its influence ; but the convicts 
and indented servants formed a servile class, and helped forward the 
aristocratic system which had been founded. The professions of law 

* Discoveries of John Lcderer, 16Y1. 


and medicine hardly had an existence, and merchants, as such, were 
unknown. There were only two classes — ^landlords and servants. Nei- 
ther arts nor letters flourished. Every man taught his children accord- 
ing to his ability, and the Royalist Governor Berkeley thanked God 
that there were no free schools.* The Virginians were Royalist in 
their sympathies, and firm supporters of Church and State. In the 
rude outlines of the seventeenth century can be seen all the great 
forces which attained a vigorous life and full development in the 
eighteenth. The liard life, the isolation, the great estates, and the 
servile class, added to the inborn conservatism of the race, were mould- 
ing an aristocratic system as distinct and powerful as that which had 
been left behind. 

In 1671 the population, according to Berkeley,* had risen to forty 
thousand souls, two thousand of whom were negroes. This was prob- 
ably a large estimate ; but the troubles towai*d the end of the century 
and dangers from the Indians checked the growth of the colony, which 
does not seem to have numbered much more than forty thousand in- 
habitants in 1700. The period of quiet which then ensued, and the 
vigorous Indian policy of Spotswood, gave repose, while the general 
tranquillity of all the British dominions after the accession of the House 
of Brunswick contributed to the same result In the first fifty years 
of the eighteenth century the white population increased from less 
than sixty to more than two hundred and fifty thousand, and the hand- 
ful of negro slaves had grown to such a point that it more than equal- 
led the whites in numbers, and raised the total population to over half 
a million.' 

It is an easier matter to determine with accuracy the Virginian rev- 
enues and taxes and their sources than to estimate the population. 
Campbell, relying on the contemporary account usually attributed to 
Lord Culpepper, enumerates four sources of revenue at the close of 
the seventeenth century. First come the quit -rents, amounting to 
about eight hundred pounds per annum, and paid to the King ; sec- 
ond, the export duty of two shillings per hogshead on tobacco, and the 
port duties of fifteen pence per ton on vessels arriving, averaging three 
thousand pounds a year; third, a duty of one penny in the pound 
on all tobacco exported to the other colonies, amounting to one hun- 
dred pounds a year, and paid to William and Mary College, under the 

^ Foote'8 Sketches of Virginia, ii., 1671. 

« Ibid., i., 10. » J. F. D. Smjtli'a Travels, i., 72. 


grant of 1692 ; fourth, any money-duty raised by the Assembly. There 
i»ere also three levies : the parish levy, assessed by the vestries ; the 
county levy, assessed by the justices of the peace ; and the public levy, 
assessed by the Assembly. All these three levies were paid in tobac- 
co, collected by the sheriff, assessed on the whole number of persons 
in the paiish, county, or colony, and divided by the number of titha- 
bles. The tax so collected amounted to about one hundred pounds 
of tobacco for each tithable pei-son, and yielded between eight and 
nine thousand pounds sterling annually. This system was continued 
with little change, except natural increase, until the French war. The 
Governors and the Assembly were in the habit of wrangling on the 
question of taxes ; but all power in the matter rested with the Bur- 
gesses, and, until the royal government interfered, they easily mas- 
tered their Governors. This system of taxation was of the simplest 
and most direct kind, levied principally upon real estate and negroes.' 
Its moderation alone made it tolerable, and. the burdens created by 
the French war soon caused bitter complaints of its inequality and in- 
justice.' In that great conflict a debt of four hundred thousand 
pounds was contracted, and heavy taxes were laid to sink it, while gold 
and silver were banished from circulation and replaced by a depre- 
ciated paper currency. The hardships produced by this change in the 
standard were bo severe that a law to fix the mte of exchancfc was 

I S 

Despite the defective methods of taxation, however, the colony 
rapidly recovered from its financial difficulties, which were caused 
solely by the exigencies of war. There were no great sources of 
expenditure in time of peace. The most costly public luxuries, an 
army and a navy, were wholly wanting. The only defenders of the 
country were the militia, supposed to include every able-bodied free- 
man between the ages of sixteen and sixty.* The organization of this 
militia, however, was extremely loose and imperfect.* They were 
called out in time of war by the Governor and Assembly, who also 
had power to raise colonial troops. Washington's difficulties, when 
in command during the French war, give a startling picture of the 
wretched military arrangements of the province. The commander 

1 White women working in fields were also held to be tithable, Beverly, p. 224 ; 
and Foote, 11., 208. As to taxation generally, Burke, il, 137 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 
4Y; Hening, 1644, 1645, 1657, 1769. 

• Bomaby's Travels, p. 89. » Ibid., pp. 89, 40. 

* Beverly, p. 224. » Smyth, it, 16a 


had no voice in the choice of ofScers, there was no proper system 
of military regulations, and the pay was irregular and uncertain. 
Even when these faults had been remedied, Washington found him- 
self without any martial code by which he could check insubordina- 
tion, desertion, or the natural pcrversencss of his raw levies. The 
militia system, as then constituted, was thoroughly insufficient except 
in peace. Men were to be called out to repel invasion ; but there were 
no powers to effect this, or to control them when in actual service. 
There was, besides, the annoying question of rank. Every officer in 
the royal army claimed to outrank every provincial officer, and this 
led to continual jealousies and difficulties. In one case Washington 
refused to serve ; in another, a man who had in the last war held an 
English commission of captain, refused to obey Washington, then in 
command of all the Vir^nian troops. The frontiersmen, of course, 
made good soldiers, and the young Yii^inians of good family were 
just the stuff to make dashing and gallant officers ; but the mass of 
the people, though brave and ready to fight, could not at once bear 
the severe strain of a prolonged and exhausting war. Moreover, the 
majority of Yii^inians at the time of the French war had never seen 
or known any fighting; for Bacon^s rebellion and the great wars 
with the savages were then little more than traditions. 

With the other branch of public defence it was even worse. There 
was, of course, no navy whatever, nor were there even merchant-ships 
to be turned into privateers. The Virginians were in no respect a 
seafaring race, and did not even furnish material to man a possible 
navy in the future. Other public expenses were small. The Govern- 
or's salary, charged on the export duties, was twelve hundred pounds 
for the nominal, and seventeen hundred for the real Governor. Three 
hundred and fifty pounds were distributed among the councillors. 
The other expenses for clerks, courts, etc., were all trifling. Salaries 
were small, but the income in money of even the richest Virginians 
was not large. So much was afforded by a great plantation and nu- 
merous slaves that comparatively little ready money served to procure 
every luxury ; yet, if a small sum had to be suddenly provided, the 
wealthiest were often obliged to seriously burden their estates. These 
circumstances gave to the offices the rare attraction of yielding a 
sure income in cash. The government was upon the familiar British 
model of King and Parliament. The Governor represented the Crown, 
and was a most important and very powerful personage. He was not 
only the executive officer, the commander of the militia, and the ad- 


miral of the navy, but he was also lord chancellor, chief-justice, and 
practically the bishop of the province, and the dispenser of pardons, 
except in capital cases. He possessed the veto power as to all legis- 
lation, and could convoke, prorogue, and dissolve the Assembly. He 
was nominally uader the control of his Council ; but the councillors 
were really his creatures, appointed by him, and liable to suspension 
at his hands. His patronage was another element of strength. All 
offices, except those of Treasurer and Speaker of the House, and even 
including the clerks of the Assembly, were in his gift. He appointed 
also the sheriffs and coroners, and through the former often exerted 
a decisive influence upon the elections. His power in the House of 
Burgesses itself was very great ; and he added largely to his salary, as 
well as to his political weight, by farmiug the quit -rents, disposing 
of unpatented lands, and profiting by the exchange of public money. 
This matter of fees, especially in regard to land, was a fruitful cause 
of contention with the Assembly, as well as a valuable source of in- 
come to the Governor.* 

The Council came in for a goodly share of the spoils of the Execu- 
tive department, and a seat in this body was much sought after by 
the leading men of the colony. In 1680 they had ceased to sit with 
the Burgesses, and had become an Upper House ;' and in process of 
time they obtained an almost equal share of legislative power. They 
were twelve in number," and by virtue of their position as councillors 
were exempt from taxation, became judges, colonels of counties, naval 
officers, clearing all vessels, collectors of the revenue, and farmers o£ 

After Governor and Council had been thus liberally provided for, 
there was little left in the way of offices for the Burgesses. Under 
the Commonwealth (1653) they had successfully asserted their right 
to elect their own Speaker,* and at the beginning of the next centu- 
ry they wrested from Nicholson the election of the Treasurer. This 
office gave them complete control of the finances, and supplemented 
the power of laying taxes, which resided wholly with them.* This 
single but all-sufficient weapon armed them for their conflicts with the 

* This account of the Govemor*8 powers is drawn chiefly from Hartwell, Blair, 
and Chilton's Present State of Virginia, 1729. But see also Beverly and Buma- 

• Beverly. * Burnaby, p. 22. 

* Present State of Virginia, Hartwell, Blair, and Chilton ; Hening, 1637. 

• Burke, ih, 96. • Burke, ii., 145 ; as to Privileges, Hening, 1657. 


executive, and was the great safeguard of the people. There were, 
in the year 1760, one hundred and ten Burgesses, two from each 
county, and one from Janiestown, Williamsbui^, Norfolk, and the 
college respectively.* They received" one hundred and twenty pounds 
of tobacco, or about twelve shillings a day, and were elected by the 
freeholders, who were alone entitled to vote." No act could become 
law without the assent of both Houses and of the Crovcmor, besides 
the ratification of the King in Council.^ Such was the government 
of Virginia; English and practical, but very far from being sym- 
metrical or theoretically perfect. 

Still further removed from either symmetry or perfection was 
the judicial and legal system which had grown up during the hun- 
dred and fifty years of the colony's existence. The machinery of the 
law had been constructed to meet definite wants, and had been 
amended and added to from time to time, as necessity demanded. 
Provision for a judiciary followed closely the political emancipation 
effected by the establishment of the House of Burgesses. Until the 
year 1621, all cases were tried by the Governor and Council at James- 
town, whenever it was convenient This system was awkward and 
unsatisfactory, and quarter-sessions were established ; and in the fol- 
lowing year inferior courts were erected." These two courts formed 
the essence of the judicial system, and continued with sundry addi- 
tions of jurisdiction and changes in the number of sessions practically 
unaltered until the Revolution. In the year 1765 there were inferior 
courts, known as county couils, sitting once a month at the county 
town, and the general court, composed of the Governor and Council, 
which sat twice a year at Jamestown as a court of oyer and ter- 
miner, and to hear appeals." Quarter-sessions were also held at the 
county towns by members of the quorum, and by those of the gen- 
eral court on the circuit.' The county courts were composed of 
the gentlemen of the county, appointed as judges by the Governor. 
They were eight in number, and, as finally arranged, superseded the 
private courts held by individual planters in the early part of the 
seventeenth century.® Four judges suflBced to constitute a quorum, 
and the bench of the county court was thus filled by country gentle- 

J Barnaby, p. 22. • These figures are of 1729. 

3 Beverly. * Burnaby, p. 22. 

* Burke, i., 162 ; ii., 81. * Burnaby, p. 21 ; Smyth's Travels, 1, 19, 20. 

' Hening, 1661-'62. ■ Hening, ibid. 


men or planters, '* able and judicious persons," in the language of the 
statute,* but wholly innocent of any legal training. With the natural 
aptitude of their race, however, they administered substantial justice 
between man and man, and were respected and obeyed by their neigh- 
bors as the best, wisest, and wealthiest men among them. They had 
criminal jurisdiction in all but capital cases, and had final jurisdiction 
in all civil causes involving less than twenty pounds.* The county 
courts were also made at an early day courts of probate, although 
administrations were later recorded in the office of the Secretary of 
the colony.* In cases involving more than twenty pounds there was 
an appeal to the general court, composed of the Governor and five 
members of the Council. The judges of this, the highest court, 
which presented the odd combination of the executive and judicia- 
ry united in ono body, knew as little law as their brethren of the 
lower jurisdiction; but they were a much stronger body. Their 
court was not commissioned, but was the growth of custom ; they 
heard all causes involving more than twenty pounds, as well as all 
appeals from the county courts, and held two sessions as a court of 
oyer and terminer. In addition to all this, the general court sat in 
chancery, the Governor being chancellor, and was a court of admi- 
ralty and a spiritual court. There was an appeal from them to the 
King in Council for all causes involving more than five hundred 
pounds ; but such appeals were so expensive that the decision of the 
general court was practically final.* 

The right of trial by jury, after some vicissitudes in the early days 
of the colony, was thoroughly established. A jury was required only 
in cnminal cases, but was given to all demanding it.* The jury was 
selected arbitrarily by the sheriff, without a panel. Six jurors were 
required from the vicinage, and the sheriff summoned always the 
** best gentlemen " of the neighborhood.* A late law required that a 
juror should be a freeholder, and possessed of real and personal estate 
of more than one hundred pounds in value.* Practice was simple. 
Writs ran not in the name of the King, but as simple justice^s war- 
rants, and were published at the door of the parish church.* There 
were no writs of error, but appeals only, allowing no new matter, and 

» Hening, 1661-»62. « Burnaby, p. 21 ; Smyth, i., 20. 

» Hening, 1657, 1661. -• Bumaby, p. 21. 

* Hening, 1648 ; Present Stole of Virginia, Hartwell, 1729; Burke, ii., 30. 
• • Beverly, App. ^ Hening, 1748-*66. 

" Present Stote of Virginia, Hartwell, 1729 ; Beverly, App. 



as late as 1729 there was no formal pleading/ This legal system in- 
dicates unmistakably the absence of a strong class of professional 
lawyers. Lawyers were, in fact, only jost beginning to floarish and 
gain importance as a class in the years immediately preceding the 
Revolution. In the early times there appears to have been a number 
of sharp and unscrupulous attorneys, probably adventurers from Eng- 
land, whose existence called forth much hostile l^slation. In 1643, 
on account of the heavy fees, attorneys were compelled to take out a 
license, could plead only in general court and one county court, and 
fees were limited. Two years later '' mercenary ^' attorneys were to be 
expelled; and in 1646, all fees were prohibited, and the court appoint- 
ed some one from the people to help the suitors, but without fees. A 
few years later these enactments were repealed ; and after many fluctu- 
ations between no attorneys on the one hand, and no regulations for 
practitioners on the other, the system of licenses and exaininations was, 
on account of the grievances arising from ignorant lawyers, revived 
and enforced, and fees were regulated by the court* The growing im- 
portance of the lawyers as a class is shown about the middle of the 
eighteenth century by the distinction carefully made in the statutes 
between barristers and attorneys.* Such was the judicial and legal 
system of Virginia. It was in many respects rude and imperfect; 
but it seems to have worked well, and to have served the ends of 
justice. The courts were trusted and obeyed by the people, and the 
general organization, as well as the lawyers, and the knowledge of 
law, kept pace with the development of the community. As in all 
the colonies, the common law was adopted and followed, except in 
so far as it was modified by acts of Parliament or the local statutes. 

The distribution of the population which lived under the system of 
goveraraent and laws which have just been described was an important 
factor in the social and political condition of Virginia. One great 
eleraest of modern life was wholly wanting. There were practically 
no towns and no centres of population. The people were widely 
scattered over the whole face of the country. This diffusion had be- 
gun at an early day, and the habit of dispersion became strongly 
rooted before efforts were made to remedy the evils which it produced. 
The want of trade, the loss incurred by dependence upon foreign mer- 
chants, and the difficulties of transportation, first led to legislative action 

» Present State of Virginia, Hartwell. 

• Hening, 1648-'45, 1646-»51, 1667-1742, 1745. « Ibid., 1748-'55. 


in 1661-62/ when an act was passed for the benefit of Jamestown, 
where each connty was required to build a house. More strenuous 
measures were, however, found to bo necessary, and in Lord Culpep- 
per's time an act known as the Cohabitation Act was passed, ordering 
towns to be built at certain specified points, for the benefit of trade 
and manufactures.' The most eminent of the dissenting clei^ymen 
supported this policy in a tract called a '^ Perswasive to Towns and 
Cohabitation," urging the loss of trade, the helpless dependence upon 
England and the other colonies, as arguments for the scheme.* The 
act was inoperative. Ten years later there were still no towns, but 
only paltry villages ; and the legislative towns generally consisted of 
one house with a store and office for the transaction of a small retail 
business.^ The government, however, persisted. The " paper " towns, 
as they were called, were made the only ports of entry ; privileges were 
offered to tradesmen who would settle in them ;' and it was further 
enacted that every town should have a fair and market* Everything 
failed alike — not only laws, but the much stronger infiuences of dimin- 
ishing trade, heavy losses through payments to small retailers, and the 
powerful support of the Grovemor and of the Crown.^ In 1 7 1 6 James- 
town consisted of a church, court-house, and three or four brick houses,* 
and it was even worse with the " paper " towns. Colonel Byrd, in 
1732, writes of Fredericksburg, that ''besides Colonel Willis, who is 
the top man of the place, there are only one merchant, a tailor, a 
smith, an ordinary keeper, and a lady who acts both as doctress and 
coffee-house keeper;" he adds that Richmond and Petersburg existed 
only on paper.* Between this period and the Bevolution there was 
little change. At the close of the French war, Norfolk, with about 
seven thousand inhabitants, was the only considerable town in Vir- 
ginia.** Williamsburg, the gay capital and the seat of the university, 
was a straggling village of about two hundred bouses. Burnaby, who 
visited Virginia in 1759, describes it as a pleasant little town, with 
wooden houses and unpaved streets.*' At one end was the college, 

» Hening, 1661-'62. • Ibid., 1680. » Makemie*8 " Perswasive to Towns," etc. 
^ Foote, 1, 9. * Mazweirs Hist. Register, i., 166. 

• Hening, 1705. 

^ Collections of Mass. Hist. Soc., 1st series, v., 124, account of Virginia; Barke, 
iL, 124. 
' Hugnenot Family in Virginia, p. 271. ' Byrd MSS., il., 9, 12. 

10 Smyth, i., 11 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 6 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 107. 
li Burnaby, p. 6. 


said by Mr. Jefferson to have looked like a brickkiln with a roof/ 
and at the other the Governor's palace, as it was affectedly called, like- 
wise of brick, and apparently the handsomest structure in Virginia. 
An indifferent church and some insignificant public buildings com- 
pleted the architectural glories of the capital. A dozen families of 
the gentry lived in the town, and the rest of the inhabitants were 
tradesmen. Such life as there was in Williamsburg was due solely to 
its selection as the seat of government' Jamestown, the old capital, 
was utterly effaced, and the only substantial sources of growth to the 
legislative towns were the Government warehouses for the inspection 
of tobacco. This system had been established in the earliest times,* 
and after a long period had built up Petersburg, Fredericksburg, and 
Alexandria;^ but these places were, after all, mere unpaved, strag- 
gling villages, with no business outside the tobacco-houses, and inhab- 
ited chiefly by liquor-dealers, small shopkeepers, and smaller lawyers, 
who preyed upon the country people of the neighborhood.* It fared 
no better with the county towns established by law in each county for 
the better administration of justice. These towns, planted in many 
cases in the midst of the forest, usually consisted of the court-house, 
the prison, and its accompaniments of stocks, pillory, whipping-post, 
and ducking-stool, with one miserable inn, where the judges lodged 
when they came to hold court.* Usually, too, the parish church flanked 
the court-house ;^ but this was not universal. The Sunday services or 
the sessions of the court called all the people to the county seat ; but 
when these were over the town relapsed into the quiet of the wilder- 
ness. The explanation of this strange state of affairs lay in the char- 
acter of the population and their pursuits. Colonel Byrd, one of the 
wealthiest of Virginian planters, who wrote against the legal ports of 
entry, ai^ued that the system of life, the country, and the popular 
habits, were all opposed to them.* Writers on the other side admit 
that the popular aversion to towns was very strong ; but they con- 
tend that this was due to indolence, jealousy, and the desire of every 

» Weld's Travels, p. 12Y. 

* For deBcriptions of Williamsburg, see Bumaby, p. 6 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 24- 
27; Smyth, i., 17; Weld, p. 127; Abb6 Robin, p. 107; Georgia Hist. Ck)ll., IV., 
Itin. Observations, 1745, p. 48. * Hening, 1633. 

* Smyth, i., 62, 152, 201 ; Bumaby, p. 43 ; Brissot, p. 367. 
^ Rochefoucauld, i., 21. 

* Ibid., i., 66 ; Hening, 1661-'62, p. 2 ; Byrd MSS., i., 72. 

^ Meade's Old Churches, ii., 68. • Byrd MSS., IL, 162. 


planter to have the port of entry at his own door/ These reasons 
undoubtedly explain the opposition to towns, and the fact of their re- 
maining small and insignificant villages ; but the cause of this oppo- 
sition is to be found in the occupations of the people, which, until fixed 
and endeared by habit, were, of course, merely the result of circum- 
stances at the foundation of the settlement. 

What the pursuits and occupations of Virginians were at the period 
preceding the revolution it is not diflacult to discover, for they were 
few and simple to the last degree. The legal profession, as has been 
shown by the course of legislation against attorneys, was not held in 
high repute, and lawyers, as a class, were only just beginning to as- 
sume importance in the years immediately before the Revolution. In 
early days there were evidently plenty of attorneys, so called, but they 
were for the most part pettifoggers and sharpers, broken adventurers 
from London, and indented servants, who, having been convicts, chose 
on their release the profession which, in a rude state of society, gave 
them the best opportunity of fleecing the community. The only man 
who appears to have attained an honorable eminence in the seven- 
teenth century simply as a lawyer was William Fitzhugh, the de- 
fender of Beverly in his gallant struggle with Lord Culpepper.* In 
1734 two lawyers are mentioned who had displayed ability and 
achieved legitimate success in their profession, although one of them 
was a broken-down London practitioner.' Sir John Randolph, for 
many years attorney-general, was a conspicuous and learned advocate. 
But the rarity of such cases shows as clearly as the course of legisla- 
tion the low standing of the legal profession. The increase of wealth 
and civilization effected finally a change in this respect ; but it is only 
at the close of the colonial period that we find men of high position 
and real talents devoting themselves to the law, and only just in sea- 
son to play an important and leading pai-t in the conflict with the 
mother country. It was at this period that such men as Patrick 
Henry, Jefferson, George Mason, and Wythe studied law, and were 
admitted to the bar, which found its crowning glory in John Marshall, 
the greatest name of all those which have adorned the legal profes- 
sion in America. 

The profession of medicine, which nowhere enjoyed in the eigh- 
teenth century the consideration that it now deservedly possesses, was 

1 Makemie, " Perswasive to Towns ;" Coll. of Mass. Hist Soc., I., v., 124. 
« Maxwell, Hist Register, i., 165. » Ibid., i., 119. 


especially low in Yirgmia. Almost all the knowledge we have of the 
medical profession is from the statutes relating to it, and this is in 
itself a significant fact In 1657 laws were passed to regulate sur- 
geons, and the power to settle fees was given to the courts. A few 
years later bills of sai^eons were made pleadable against the estate of 
a deceased person, which indicates the precarious, half-recognition ex- 
tended to the profession. In the next century elaborate laws were 
passed in regard to physicians, because ^* surgeons, apothecaries, and 
unskilful apprentices, who exacted unreasonable fees, and loaded 
their patients with medicine," took up the practice of the healing 
art, to the detriment probably of the good people of Virginia. 
Fees were fixed by this statute, one shilling per mile being the rate, 
and all medicines were to be set forth in the bill. Two pounds' 
was to be the pnce of attending a common fracture, and twice as 
much for a compound one. Those physicians who held university 
degrees were allowed to make a double charge ;' and there were un- 
doubtedly a few of this last class in Virginia, men of position and 
family, who had been educated abroad, and were a credit to their pro- 
fession.' But their number was very small, and it cannot be doubted 
that the dispenser of drugs, the rude village surgeon and barber, or 
the unskilful apprentice, were the representatives of medicine in Vir- 
ginia, and were not held in high esteem. The profession offered little 
attraction to the best part of the community, was, as a rule, merely a 
means to more or less ignorant men of making a living, and had nei- 
ther social nor political infiuence. 

As the army and navy had no existence in Virginia, only one pro- 
fession now remains to be accounted for. The clergy fonned the 
only professedly learned class in the community.* They possessed 
considerable infiuence, and they were a picturesque element in society 
— ^more, it must be admitted, from their failings than their virtues. 
But they represented also a great institution which had an important 
effect upon the people of Virginia, and to understand them and the 
Church which they served involves a discussion of the whole religious 

John Smith and his followers brought with them a worthy minis- 
ter of the Established Church, which from that time onward was pro- 
tected and fostered by the government of Virginia. During the 

1 Hening, 1657-^60, 1661-'62, 1666, and 1736. * Meade, 1, 407. 

» Foote, i., 149. 


seventeenth centary the Puritan spirit, which leavened the whole of 
English society, was felt in Virginia, and showed itself ffirongly in 
the ChoFch. Elaborate measures for the maintenance of the Church 
and the clergy, and for the propagation of the true faith, were passed 
by the early Assemblies, and re-enacted and extended by all their suc- 
cessors in turn/ Severe laws against Sabbath-breaking exhibit still 
more strongly the puritanical spirit which pervaded the Virginian es- 
tablishment. Work, sport, and travel were prohibited on Sunday, 
and heavy penalties were paid for al^nce from divine service.' One 
man was formally excommunicated for wearing his hat in church.* 
The same stem quality of the times was manifested in the most rigid 
laws for conformity.* Separatist meetings were broken up, and a 
•fine of five thousand pounds of tobacco exacted from the participants, 
and Non- conformists were expelled from the colony. Under the 
Commonwealth there was some relaxation, but both Churchmen and 
Puritans persecuted Papists and Quakers. The former were dis- 
abled from office; the latter were thrown into prison without bail, 
banished, and adjudged to be felons if they returned a second time. 
Those who brought in or entertained Quakers wore liable to heavy 
fines.* With the Restoration, the Established Church again asserted its 
supremacy, and all dissenters came under the ban, and were pilloried 
and fined.* The first sect to make head against the prevailing intol- 
erance was the Presbyterian. The conflict was carried on by the Rev. 
Francis Makemie, and was supported by the presence of a large and 
useful body of Scotch -Irish settlers. Yet pastor and people suf- 
fered alike from the laws, and even the emigrants from Londonderry 
could not obtain recognition, but were compelled to pay tithes, and 
forced out to the frontier. The Toleration Act of William and Mary 
obtained only the barest sufferance for Makemie and his followers in 
Virginia.^ The superstitious side of religion at this period was not 
without vitality, for, as late as the year 1705, Grace Sherwood was 
ducked for witchcraft* 

But with the beginning of the eighteenth century the vigorous, 
zealous, intolerant spirit began to decline, and the Church rapidly 

> Hening, e.g., 1628-'24, 16S2, 1660. < Ibid., 1629, 1682, 1643, 1691, 1705. 
» Ibid., 1640. * Ibid., 1623, 1646-'46 ; Foote, I, 28. 

* Foote, i., 86 ; Hening, 1648, 1669, 1661-'68. 

* Ibid. ; see also Anderson's History of Ck>lonial Church, IL, 27 ; Burke, il, 181 ; 
and Meade, !., 288, 884. 

* Foote, 1, 86. ' Howe's Virginia. 


lost ground among the people. In 1699 there were few dissenters 
in Yirgiflk Three or four Presbyterian meeting-houses and a 
Quaker conventicle were the only places of worship outside the pale 
of the Church.* At the time of the Bevolution more than half the 
population were dissenters, and in the shock of war the old Establish- 
ment went helplessly and hopelessly to pieces, unregretted, apparently, 
by any one. The course and reasons of the change can be readily 
followed. The reaction which ensued after the intense spiritual ex- 
citement of the seventeenth century produced a species of religious 
lethargy in the eighteenth. Frigid morality, a well-bred abhorrence 
of anything like zeal, and a worldly indifference, characterized the 
English clergymen of the latter period, and their Virginian brethren as 
well. The colonial ministers were as a class ruder and narrower thaa 
those of the mother country, and their coldness and indifference to 
great religious principles showed themselves more plainly and coarse- 
ly ; but the essential spirit of both the imperial and the provincial 
Church was the same. The results, too, were identical. Religion de- 
clined, and '^paganism, atheism, and sectaries" began to prevail.' 
" Quakers," says Colonel Byrd, " prevail in Nansemond County, for 
the want of ministers to pilot people a better way to heaven." Cler- 
gymen would not go there because the tobacco, in which their sala- 
ries were paid, was bad ; and the honest colonel, who retained the old 
spirit, and would not have permitted on Sunday any work but that 
of charity, self-preservation, or necessity, wonders rather grimly that 
Jesuits and Puritans have not seized on so promising a field.' 

Although the Jesuit and the Puritan did not come, the religious 
revival which swept over England with Wesley broke out with great 
force in the province. But the Virginians dealt with this movement 
in more simple and vigorous fashion than did their English cousins. 
Not long before, the Presbyterians, who had taken the field more than 
half a century earlier, supported by a strong and growing element of 
the population, had wrested from Governor Gooch promises of tolera- 
tion to those of their faith who were pushing the settlements on the 
western frontier.* Immediate advantage was taken of this relaxa- 
tion, and some of the leading clergymen, eloquent and earnest men, 
began an active proselyting,* which soon aroused the latent hostility 

> Mass. Hist. Soc. Collections, Ist series, v., 124. 

' Tyler^s Hist, of American Literature, i., 80 ; Campbell, p. 882. 

5 Byrd MSS., i., 42, 163. * Foote, ii., 84, 164. • Ibid., p. 104. 


of the ruling Church ; and the Presbyterians, who had borne for so 
many years the brunt of the battle in behalf of the rights of con- 
science, were the first to feci the wrath aroused by their renewed activ- 
ity. Gooch joined in the resistance to the new doctrines, and in- 
dictments were found against the Presbyterian clergy for their un- 
licensed preaching/ But the character and respectability of the 
Presbyterians saved them from the savage attacks made upon the 
humbler and more energetic sects which sprang up with the revival. 
The Moravians, New Lights, and Baptists were denounced by Gooch 
in 1745 in a charge to the grand -jury, and in the following year 
their meetings were forbidden.' The Baptists suffered most severely. 
Their meetings were broken up by rough crowds, their preachers 
were thrown into prison, and treated with the utmost ignominy, and 
the mob invaded their baptismal services, and abused and assaulted 
the participants, who were beaten and maltreated in every way.' 
This antiquated method of dealing with religious differences of opin- 
ion was due not to zeal, but to interest The Established Church 
was one of the appendages of the Virginian aristocracy. They con- 
trolled the vestries and the ministers, and the parish church stood not 
infrequently on the estate of the great planter who had built and 
managed it* The ruling class, therefore, regarded the revival as an 
attack upon property and vested rights, and as an assault upon one 
of the bulwarks of society. It was the conservative opposed to the 
innovating spirit The conservative element had the political power, 
and they put down the innovators with a high hand. In all attacks 
upon the Baptists, the magistrates, who were of the ruling class in the 
province, were the most active,* and Peyton Randolph, bearing the 
first name in Virginia, headed the opposition to giving licenses to 
the Presbyterians.' 

Such a policy could have but one result The dissenting sects 
were full of vitality, and they grew apace, while the Established 
Church, maintained simply as part of a social system, declined with 
proportionate rapidity. Good judges estimated the number of dis- 
senters at the time of the Revolution as comprising two-thirds of the 
population.^ The intolerance and persecution of the ruling class 

> Foote, ii., 188, 185. • Burke, iii., 119, 126. 

* Semple*8 Hist of the Baptists, pp. 1, 16, 17, 28 ; Hening, 1759; Tyler*8 Hist, 
of American Literature, i., 90. 

« Foote, i., 28. • Burke, iii., 121. • Foote, ii., 171. 

* Foote, ii., 819, citing JeffersoD and Burke ; see contra, Bumaby,p. 28. 


awakened the active indignation of the coming leaders in the new era 
of political development The gentle nature of young James Madi- 
son was deeply stirred by the harsh treatment of the sectaries, and he 
exerted himself strongly against their oppressors.^ The powerful hu- 
man sympathies and liberal views of Thomas Jefferson brought him 
to similar conclusions, which rapidly gained ground among the rev- 
olutionary leaders. The shock of war precipitated the inevitable re- 
sult The dissenters to a man almost were on the patriotic side,' and 
public opinion could not consistently overlook religious freedom in a 
struggle for political liberty. After a short, sharp conflict the privi- 
leges of the old Established Church were swept away, and all faiths 
became equal before the law.* The fall of the Church revealed pain- 
fully its low condition ; the substance had gone, and nothing remain^ 
ed but the husks. As soon as the State support was withdrawn, the 
whole edifice of the Church went to pieces, for it had no genuine 
religious strength. Religious indifference was found to prevail every- 
where; the people seemed to have no religious sense; the churches 
fell into ruin and neglect ; the service of the Church was abandoned, 
not only in outlying parishes, but in many of the towns, and the leg- 
acy of irreligion was all that the Church of England bequeathed to 

This religious indifference had of coarse existed for many years, 
but it was covered up by forms and by the strong shelter of the State. 
The organization of the Church had real power and meaning, although 
the spiritual force had decayed. At the close of the French war there 
were in Virginia sixty or seventy parishes of the Established Church, 
and these were governed by the vestries, which were very important 
and active bodies. They represented all the local and municipal gov- 
ernment there was in Virginia, and had attained, moreover, a com- 
manding position in Church affairs. At an early day secular func- 
tions were assigned to them by the Burgesses. They were to make 
returns of births, marriages, and deaths, present for crimes under the 
statutes against vice, command the sheriff to hold the election for Bur- 
gesses, and assist the county courts in building workhouses. To the 
vestry belonged the duty of " processioning the land " once in four 

* R'lTes's Life of Madison, i., 42-44. 

» Seraple, p. 28 ; Foote, ii., 171. • Burke, iv., 877. 

* Weld'8 Travels, pp. 107, 188 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 60-66, 101. As to the gen- 
eral conditioii of the Church, see Letter of Bishop of London in voL ill Doc ReL 
to Col. Hist of New York. 


years, and upon them devolved the care of roads and ferries.* Thus 
far they corresponded to the English vestries and the New England 
town-meeting; and, as might be imagined, became in time of revolu- 
tion a nucleus of opposition.' Their ecclesiastical powers were more 
exteuded. In the time of the Commonwealth, and under Bacon's 
brief rule, they obtained rights which were never wrung from them.' 
The most important was the power of raising the salary of the minis- 
ter, and they also made good their claim to the right of controlling the 
induction, after bitter contests with the Governor and Commissary. 
They were able to hire their ministers from year to year, and thus 
kept their pastors entirely at their mercy, crippling the Governor's 
power of inducting for life completely, and not infrequently they 
handled their spiritual guides very roughly.* By a law of the Com- 
monwealth period all affairs of the vestry and Church were assigned 
to the control of the members of the parish, and the Restoration sim- 
ply obliged the vestry to take the oaths of supremacy, allegiance, and 
conformity to the Church of England, but did not revoke their right 
of settling the minister's salary.' At the time of the Revolution the 
vestries, consisting of twelve of the parish, were chosen by the heads 
of families, and were in the hands of the ruling class.' Washington, 
Henry, the Randolphs and the Lees fairly represent the kind of men 
who sat at these local boai-ds, and thus controlled the sources of polit- 
ical power.' 

The head of the Church was the royal Governor, to whom belong- 
ed, nominally at least, the right of induction, while the supervision of 
ecclesiastical matters was intrusted to a commissary appointed by the 
Bishop of London and paid from the royal quit-rents.' Attempts 
were made to substitute a bishop for the commissary ; but, though 
often renewed, they never succeeded, and invariably aroused a most 
bitter resistance. Among the many causes of hostility to England 
was the dread of a bishop, and the efforts to bring about such an ap- 
pointment did much to injure the Church and render unpopular the 

» Hening, 1682-'46, 1646-'67, 166»-'60, ie68-'76, 1696, 1727, 1748; Foote, i., 28. 
< Rires'fl Madison, 1, 49 ; Meade, i., 151, 168. 
> Hening, 1646, 1657, 1676. 

* Anderson's Hist of Col Church, i., 350, 877 ; Present Stole of Virginia, Hart- 
well ; Present Stote of Virginia, Jones. 
» Hening, 1660. * Present Stote of Virginia, Hartweli. 

^ Rives's Madison,!., 49; Meade, p. 151-160. 
' Present State of Virginia, Hartweli ; Bamaby, p. 25. 


clergymen who advocated it* This oflSce of commissary and that of 
president of the college, which, except in one case, always went with 
.it, was a high and important one,nniting, when in the hands of a 
strong man like James Blair, mnch political as well as religious pow- 
er.' Bat, although the commissaries were often able to successfully 
resist the Governor and maintain their own independence, they were 
not able to keep up the character of the clergy. 

The ministers of the Church were an important class in Virginia. 
By a law of 1696 their salary was fixed at 16,000 pounds of tobacco, 
and this stipend was largely increased by legal fees for marriages, fu- 
nerals, and christenings.* They were also given by law a glebe and a 
parsonage, supplied by the vestry at t4ie cost of the parish. In the 
seventeenth century, although there were undoubtedly many advent- 
urers and scapegraces from England* among the clergy, the body of 
the profession appear to have been honest and zealous men, not highly 
educated, but faithful and sufficient in their discharge of duty. Dur- 
ing the eighteenth century they rapidly declined in character, although 
to the last they formed an important and picturesque element in Vir- 
ginian life. The overpowering influence of the vestries, the transat- 
lantic patronage which filled the ministry, and the foreign extraction 
of many of the incumbents of livings did much toward the degener- 
acy of the clergy. But the main cause was to be found in the cold 
and worldly spirit which characterized the Church of England at this 
time, both at home and abroad. With some exceptions, the Virginian 
clergy aped the manners and habits of the laity. Most of them were 
men who cultivated their glebes like other planters, preaching once a 
week, and performing the other services of the Church for the sake of 
an addition to their income. Their morals were loose, and the gen- 
eral tone of the profession was low. Here and there might be found 
a man of exemplary life and high character ; but the average parson 
was coarse and rough, and his parishioners might be thankful if he 
was not also a drunkard and a gambler. They hunted the fox and 
raced horses, they played cards, turned marriages, christenings, and 
funerals alike into revels, and sat out the stoutest planter after dinner, 
to finally accompany him under the table. One reverend gentleman 
bawled to his church-warden during communion, " Here, George, this 

» Anderson, il, 358 ; iii., 163 ; Meade, i., 170, 171. 

' Meade, i., 94, 150 ; Foote, ii., 168 ; Tyler's Hist, of Am. Literature, i., 90. 

» Hening, 1696 ; Foote, ii., 148. 1743, fees fixed by law. 

< Foote, i., 23 ; Mrs. Behn, The Widow Ranter, iv., 116. 


bread is not fit for a dog." Another commemorated his church and 
office by fighting a duel in the graveyard. Another received a regu- 
lar stipend for preaching four sermons annually against atheism, gam- 
bling, racing, and swearing, although he was notorious as a gambler, 
swearer, and horse -racer. Still another, of great physical strength, 
thrashed his vestry soundly, and then added insult to injury by preach- 
ing to them next day from the text, *' And I contended with them, 
and cursed them, and smote certain of them, and plucked off their 
hair."* One married a wealthy widow, although he had a wife liv- 
ing in England. Another was brought before the magistrate, a fel- ' 
low-clergyman, for drinking and carousing on Christmas-eve ; and yet 
another is remembered who, after dinner every Sunday with the great 
planter of the neighborhood, was tied in his chaise and sent home 
with a servant. At every race-course and cock-pit might be seen rev- 
erend divines betting on the contending birds or horses." The petty 
tradesmen would not trust them beyond their salary, and extorted 
one hundred and fifty per cent, for interest. They were both ex- 
travagant and poor.* The list of clerical exploits in card -playing, 
horse - racing, fox - hunting, and drinking might be extended indefi- 
nitely. Worthy Bishop Meade, who recounts their doings with much 
sorrow, says " There was not only defective preaching but, as might 
be expected, most evil living among the clergy." The natural result, 
already described, followed, and the revival of the eighteenth centu- 
ry, headed by the Baptists, Wesleyans, Moravians, and " New Lights," 
broke down the old clergy and their abuses together. Then came 
the ill-advised struggle for salaries, famous as *' The Parson's Cause," 
the fatuous effort to procure a bishop, and a fatal indecision and luke- 
warmness in the contest with England. The Revolution was a fin- 
ishing-stroke, and the old Church of Virginia perished with as much 
justice, and as completely, as did the English Catholic Church under 
Henry VIII. 

If it fared ill with the learned professions in Virginia, the case was 
no better in regard to trade and industry, which have risen to such 
commanding positions in modem times. The representatives of these 
important interests did not even attain to the dignity of a class. There 
were a few merchants in Norfolk ; but the tradesmen were merely 
small shopkeepers, scattered about among the little towns. Other 

1 Meade, i., 18, 162, 281, 260, 276, 861, 887, 470 ; U., 179. 

* Foote, ii., 871. * Byrd MSS., i., 46. 


petty retailers were established at the county seats, where they kept 
the one store of the neighborhood, which formed, with the inn and 
court-house, the county town.^ Others, again, travelled about the coun- 
try, exchanging their goods for tobacco, and pushing even beyond the 
mountains to trafSc with the frontiersmen and Indians for furs, the 
savages offering an inviting and lucrative market, in which even the 
great planters were not ashamed to share." These small traders car- 
ried on a thriving business, preying upon the necessities of the plant- 
ers and clergy, and extorting ruinous interest whenever they gave 
credit. There was, indeed, but little encouragement for a mercantile 
class. The merchants fared best ; but were obliged to give long cred- 
it, and take their pay in tobacco, on which, from its fluctuation, there 
were often serious losses. The tradesmen had no markets, and had 
either to raise corn and stock themselves, or take them in payment 
AH exchange was slow and cumbrous, and business dragged heavily. 
It was, in fact, essentially petty, for almost everything of necessity, 
and all manufactured articles were imported by the planters direct 
from England,' and the shipping was entirely in the hands of Eng- 
lish merchants and natives of the other colonies.* Descending a step 
lower, we find that, except in the immediate neighborhood of Norfolk 
and the sea-coast,* there were few or no mechanics.* The rader and 
most necessary arts were practised on every plantation by slaves trained 
for the purpose, and each landlord had in this way his own workmen.' 
All articles requiring any skill in manufacture, and even many of the 
simplest in domestic use, were brought ready-made from England.* 
Such mechanics as there were had, to gain, in many cases, a precarious 
livelihood by travelling abont among the plantations, obtaining the 
odd bits of work for which the slaves were incompetent.* 

The condition of the tradesmen, merchants, and mechanics implies 
great lack of variety in natural products, and a very low state of in- 
dustries of all sorts. Indeed, no successful attempts had been made 
to utilize the resources of the country. Good cattle and horses 
abounded, and the exportation of wheat had risen to five hundred 
thousand bushels ;" but other exports, which included pork, cider, 

> Anburey, ii., 818. « Bjrd MSS., i., 180, 

' Foote,!., 9 ; Rives's Life of Madison, i., 643. 

* Beverly. » Rochefoucauld, ii., IS. 

* Hening, 1638. Early law forbidding mechanics to plant shows the tendency. 
^ Rochefoucauld, ii., 80. • Hening, 1669. • Mass. Hist OolL, L, v., 124. 

* Smyth, ii., 140 ; Bumaby, p. 19. 


bar - iron, and indigo, together with beef and lamber from Norfolk 
to the West Indies, were trifling in amount' The valuable fisheries, 
from which at first much had been expected, were wholly neglected.' 
In the earliest times great results had been anticipated from vineyards 
and silk culture, and legislative encouragement had been freely given.* 
But neither of these industries ever came to anything. We hear of 
isolated cases where wine was successfully made,* and hopes of rais- 
ing silk were never entirely abandoned. Here and there silk was 
made and woven, and there is an account of a silk suit made by a 
young Virginian girl for Washington,* but this was all. Other and 
more useful manufactures fared little better, tn the seventeenth 
century an act of the Legislature obliged the counties to set up and 
maintain looms, and employ a weaver, but even this violent legisla- 
tion had little effect.* Cotton was grown in small quantities before 
the Revolution ; and a coarse fabric used by the lower classes, and 
known as Virginia cloth, was woven on the plantations.^ Early en- 
couragement had been given by the Assembly to the manufacture of 
linen ; but as late as the year 1730 it was found necessary to of[er 
premiums for its production, which, even with this artificial stimulus, 
remained very trifling, and had little more than a bare existence.* So 
great was the lack of capital and enterprise that even the grist-mills 
were few and poor, and the advantage of grinding their own corn was 
resigned by the Vii^inians to other colonies.* Nothing shows more 
strikingly the absolute dearth of manufactures and the industrial de- 
pendence of the country than Beverly's lament, in 1720, over the shift- 
lessness and indolence of his countrymen. Chairs, tables, stools, chests, 
boxes, cart-wheels, and even bowls and birchen brooms, were imported.** 
The great mineral wealth of the country was likewise wholly unde- 
veloped," except as to iron, of which there was an insignificant pro- 
duction. Governor Spotswood and some of his friends had opened 

» Burnaby, p. 21 ; Byrd MSS., i., 19. ' Burnaby, p. 16 ; Smyth, i., 67. 

» Force's Hist. Tracts, The Silkworm in Virginia; Hening, 1628, 1667. 

* Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 266 (1716); Rochefoucauld, !., 87. 
' Soldier and Pioneer ; Anderson. 

• Hening, 1666. 

' Burnaby, p. 21 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 107 ; Anburey, ii., 878. 

' Maxwell's Hist Reg., i., 167 ; Burnaby, p. 21 ; Hening, 1682, 1780. 

' Rochefoucauld, i., 9. 

" Beverly, book iv., 68 ; compare Hening, 1769. 

" Present State of Virginia, Hartwell ; Burnaby, p. 16. 


iron mines, and bailt forges at Germanna, and others had been started 
in various parts of the province by individual planters.* The industry 
reached the dignity of exportation, but it was depressed and almost 
ruined by English duties and management ; and, although always re- 
ceiving legislative aid, its existence was so feeble that in the eighteenth 
century the Assembly exempted all persons employed in the iron-works 
from taxation and militia duty.' Most of the forges, and, indeed, most 
of the manufacturing of all sorts was carried on by the Germans and 
Irish, who had settled in the West, beyond the mountains.' 

The explanation of the condition of trade and industry is to be 
found in the absorption of the population in the cultivation of tobacco.* 
There has never been a community, probably, in which any one great 
staple has played such a part as in Virginia. Tobacco founded the 
colony and gave it wealth. It was the currency of Vii^nia ; as bad a 
one as could be devised, and fluctuating with every crop; yet it retain- 
ed its place as circulating medium despite the most strenuous efforts 
to introduce specie.' The clergy were paid and taxes were levied by 
the Burgesses in tobacco. The whole prosperity of the colony rested 
upon it for more than a century, and it was not until the period of 
the Revolution that other crops began to come in and replace it.' 
The fluctuations in tobacco caused the first conflict with England, 
brought on by the violence of the clergy, and paved the way for re- 
sistance/ In tobacco the Virginian estimated his income and the 
value of everything he possessed ; and in its various functions, as well 
as in its method of cultivation, it had a strong effect upon the cha^ 
acter of the people. 

As early as the year 1614 tobacco had become the staple, and 
plants were growing in the streets of Jamestown. Sudden wealth, 
over-production, famine,' laws to limit planting and to enforce the 
sowing of com, and quarrels with England, were the first-fruits of 
the new crop. Then followed more over-production, falling prices, 
financial ruin, attempts to raise prices artificially, and occasional plant- 
cutting riots of a desperate character.' Every interest centred in the 

» Byrd MSS., ii., 69 ; Smyth, i., 28, 57 ; ii., 177. 

« Byrd MSS., ii., 63 ; Hening, 1727, 1748. » Smyth, ii., 268, 

* Foote, i., 9 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 1 10. » Foote, i., 8. 

• Raynal, Rev. in America, p. 90; Weld, p. 116 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 67. 

^ Buraaby, p. 26. • Burke, L, 1614. 

' Burke, ii., 134; Foote, i.,7; Hening, 1629, 1682; Hist. Coll. of South Carolina ; 
Young^d Letters ; see also Campbell. 


great staple as it rose and fell with each ensuing year, wLile its use as 
money never failed to give an unhealthy incentive to its lavish and 
exclusive production. It was, too, always a sore subject with Eng- 
land; and the "Case of the Planters of Tobacco," in 1733, presents 
a sad picture of the losses inflicted by the mother country by extor- 
tionate duties, and, what was much worse, by fraud, corruption, clip- 
ping, and favoritism of all sorts in the custom-house/ Tobacco- 
planting made slaves necessary and profitable, and fastened slavery 
upon the province. The method of cultivation, requiring intense la- 
bor and watching for a short period, and permitting complete idle- 
ness for the rest of the year, fostered habits which alternated between 
feverish exertion and languid indolence.' The immense returns, and 
the fact of staking the year's income on the result of a short period, 
as well as the rude practice of growing the plants until the land was 
exhausted, and then letting it go wild again, and clearing fresh acres, 
all tended to produce extravagance, recklessness, improvidence, and a 
spirit of speculation among the people.* As the whole commercial ex- 
istence of the State rested on obtaining a market for tobacco, the gov- 
ernment took every measure to maintain a high standard in respect 
to quality. Warehouses were established at an early period, and a 
system of inspection organized which was both severe and thorough.^ 
Just before the Revolution the exportation of tobacco, including a 
small quantity from North Carolina, had risen from sixty thousand, 
in 1759, to one hundred thousand hogsheads, was worth nearly a 
million pounds sterling, and employed about three hundred vessels.* 
From the distant plantations the tobacco was floated down on canoes 
lashed together, and carrying eight or nine hogsheads, as far as the 
head of navigation, where there was a warehouse, and a small town 
springing up around it; but the trade was chiefly carried ou by the 
planters themselves.* The vessels from England worked their way 
up the river, delivered their manufactured articles, and loaded with 

' The Case of the Planters of Tobacco in Virginia, Pamphlet, 1733. 

« Massachusetts Hist. ColL, I., v., 124 ; Present State of Virginia, Hartwell. 

' In regard to the mode of cultivating tobacco in the last century, see full ac- 
counts in Anburey, ii, 844 ; Brissot, p. 876 ; Weld, pp. 116-'17 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 
80; Smyth, I, 69. 

* Rochefoucauld, i., 86 ; Byrd MSS., ii., 9 ; Anburey, ii,, 814. 

* Smyth, ii., 189 ; Bumaby, p. 21 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 110 ; Brissot, p. 876 ; Jeflfer- 
son's Virginia. 

* Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 888 ; Smyth, i., 88. 



tobacco at the planter's own wharf, picking up a full cargo bj a sac- 
cession of such visits. This simple and lordlj system bad begun to 
decline slightly, but it was still maintained very generally at the period 
of the Revolution/ 

By a gradual process of elimination we have seen that, with the ex- 
ception of the clei^y and the lawyers — ^the latter just rising into prom- 
inence about the middle of the eighteenth century — both numerical- 
ly small classes, the people of Virginia were wholly agricultural, and 
further, that they were devoted to the production of a single great 
staple. It only remains to trace the origin of the planters to classify 
them, and become acquainted with their education, amusements, opin- 
ions, and daily lives and occupations, in order to understand thor- 
oughly the Virginia of the last century. 

When Smith and his companions landed at Jamestown, the art of 
colonization was but little understood. The first settlers were for the 
most part idle and dissolute adventurers, attracted solely by the hope 
of speedy fortune ; and they were not improved by the sweepings of 
the London streets, sent out to people the colony and act as indented 
servants, nor by the convicts, whose transportation to America was a 
bitter grievance against the mother country, down even to the Revolu- 
tion.' It would be wholly wrong, however, to suppose that immigrants 
of this sort were a controlling element, or even one which had a mark- 
ed effect on the quality of the population. The Virginians sprang 
from a fine English stock. Many younger sons of wealthy or noble 
families, many of the yeomanry, and many of the merchantrclass came 
to Virginia. The Cavalier element predominated after the great rebel- 
lion ; but there was also an infusion of Puritans with their charac- 
teristic qualities of strength and tenacity. There was, in addition, a 
small Huguenot immigration, wholly good in its results, and which 
was rapidly fused with the dominant race.* At the beginning of the 
eighteenth century a large number of Scotch-Irish Presbyterians came 
out,* who, with Germans from the middle colonies, pushed out to the 
frontier, and did much to open up the western country.* Even in 
the aggregate, however, the foreign elements were small, and without 
effect on the people, who may be accurately described as thoroughly 
and essentially English. 

1 Sparks^s Life of Washington ; Rives's Life of Madison, !., 543. 
« Hening, 1670. » Foote, i., 166. 

« Smyth, i., 156 ; De Haas, Early Settlement of West Virginia, p. 86. 
• Bumaby, p. 65 ; Smyth, ii., 267-68. 


With no towns, no diversity of pursuits, no important learned pro- 
fessions, scarcely any opportunity for constant and liberalizing social 
friction, and with a comparatively small population scattered over a 
large area, much of which was still a wilderness, the structure of Vir- 
ginian society was, as might be expected, very simple. There were 
four classes in the community. The African slaves, who formed near- 
ly one-half of the population, were the lowest element ; then, divided 
from the negroes by the impassable gulf of race and blood, came the 
indented servants and poor whites ; then the middle class of sntall 
farmers and planters ; and then at the top the great landlords, who 
ruled and represented Virginia. These divisions were supported and 
maintained by a strong belief in social distinctions, and they increased 
in power and meiining as they descended.^ 

Beginning at the bottom of the social scale, we find the African 
slaves, although far from being, as they afterward became, the one 
decisive influence in the conduct of Virginia, a numerous body, im- 
portant to the material interests of the province, and by their very 
existence producing deep and lasting effects upon the character of the 
whole population. For fifty years after the fii-at ill-omened cargo of 
human beings had been landed at Jamestown, but few slaves seem to 
have been imported, and the sparse legislation in regard to them 
shows that they formed neither an important nor formidable ele- 
ment* The only severe legislation was directed to the prevention of 
illicit intercourse between the races, which was punished by public 
whipping and penance in church inflicted upon the guilty white 
man.' In the year 1667 it was declared that baptism did not exempt 
from bondage ;* and after this period legislation becomes rapidly more 
stringent, servile rebellion begins to cast its shadow over the country, 
and a tone of dread is perceptible in the acts of the Assembly, to all 
of which the negro insurrection on the Northern Neck in 1687 gave 
terrible meaning. From that time forth the slave laws have but one 
quality, that of ferocity engendered by fear.* It is only possible to 
give a bare outline of this legislation, which filled many pages of the 
statute-book ; but it may be summed up in a few words. The slaves 

* In regard to classes ia Virginia, see Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, p. 82 ; An- 
burey, ii., 880 ; Rochefoucauld, !., 69 ; Smyth, i., 66 ; Rives's Life of Madison, i., 
49, 78, 79 ; compare also Wirt*s description of tenants in the British Spy. 

« Burke, ii., 800; Hening, 1640, 1661-'62, 1668 ; Foote, ii., 165 ; 1671—2000 
negroes in the colony. 

» Hening, 1629, 1646. ^ Ibid., 1667. * Barke, ii., 300. 


had no rights which any white man was bound to respect. They 
could not gather at feasts or burials,^ and if found away from their 
plantation without a certificate they received twenty lashes at the 
public expense, and tliirty if they raised their hand against a Chris- 
tian.' If a master killed a resisting slave, it was no felony, for no 
man could be presumed to have any "malice prepense" in destroying 
his own property.* It was no felony to kill a slave while correcting 
him,* and slaves were debarred from giving evidence except at the trial 
of one of their own race for a capital offence.* If they fled from 
servitude they were proclaimed by the Assembly to be outlaws, and 
could then be killed at sight by any one, a reward being sometimes 
offered, or castrated at the pleasure of the sheriff. The public purse 
reimbursed the owner if the slave was slain, and the surgeon in the 
second case was liable in damages if his patient died from the effects 
of the operation.* They were not allowed to carry arms, or even to 
have dogs, and the officers of militia were ordered to search all negro 
huts for concealed weapons. Even the free negroes who served in 
the militia were finally deprived of this privilege, and confined to 
servile employments when on military duty.^ Every one was de- 
terred from aiding or harboring runaways by the severest penalties. 
Stealing a slave was felony without benefit of clergy, and was ranked 
among crimes as equivalent to the murder of a friendly Indian." 
Great importance was attached to keeping the races separate, and 
the dominant class pure in blood. Any white man, bond or free, 
marrying a negress, was to be banished, and at a later period was 
thrown into prison and fined, while the officiating clergyman paid a 
penalty of ten thousand pounds of tobacco, nearly a whole year's 
salary." The doctrine of partus aequitur ventrem, rigidly enforced 
against both bastards and legitimate children, had the same dividing 
tendency.^* Emancipation was hampered ; being in England was no 
discharge, and the condition of free negroes was little better than 
that of the slaves," They were simply property in the eyes of the 
law, and, as such, were taxed, passed as chattels, and could be annexed 
to the land by the tenant in tail." But they were a very perilous sort 
of property, and their increase was very rapid and very alarming, 

» Hening, 1680. » Ibid. » Ibid., 1669, 1728 ; Foote, l, 28. 

4 Hening, 1706. » Ibid., 1782, 1744. • Ibid., 1701, 1706, 1728. 

•» Ibid., 1723, 1738, 1752, 1757. " Ibid., 1670, 1782, 1748. 

• Ibid., 1691, 1763. »"> ibid., 1661-'62, 1748; Foote, i., 28. 

" Hening, 1668, 1691, 1748, 1762. '« Ibid., 1682, 1726, 1727, 1782. 


especially toward the middle of the eighteenth century/ The anx- 
iety thus stimulated was first expressed in renewed legislation of the 
most frightful character, which may be exemplified by a single clause 
providing that slaves found abroad at night without a license should 
be dismembered.* This repressive movement was replaced by a de- 
sire to check importation, and a wish to ameliorate the condition of 
the negroes. Some of the most barbarous penalties were curtailed, 
better opportunity of obtaining justice in the courts was given, and 
slight modifications were everywhere apparent.* The movement in 
this direction went so far that the slave -trade became one of the 
grievances against England, embodied in the original draft of the 
Declaration. of Independence; and the ideas of the Revolution even 
led to projects of emancipation, and the foundation of societies for 
that purpose. But even at this time the life of a black was held very 
cheap. Juries would not convict for the murder of a slave, and the 
interest in emancipation, which was languid at best, after the close of 
the war rapidly died away. It was impossible to overcome the love 
of luxury and the commercial value of slavery.* The ferocity of Vir- 
ginian slave legislation shows only too clearly the manner in which 
the wretched negroes were regarded, as well as the tone and temper 
of the ruling class, and the atmosphere in which they lived ; but it is 
far from giving a just notion of the treatment of the slaves in every- 
day practice. Here comes in the broad distinction in this respect be- 
tween Virginia and the more southern colonies. There can be no 
question that Virginian slaves were almost universally well and mild- 
ly treated. They were fairly clothed and fed. Many of them had 
gardens and poultry ; and, as they were carefully kept in a state of the 
densest ignorance, it is not going too far to say that they were tolera- 
bly happy and contented. They were not overworked, and both the 
climate and the methods of cultivating tobacco favored their well- 
being.* It is in its effect upon the character and habits of the white 
population that slaver}'^ in colonial Virginia becomes of the first im- 
portance as a factor, both in politics and society. 

Slave laws, at first infrequent and unimportant, increased, as has 
been seen, in number and stringency as the colony grew, until they 
occupied a principal place in the statute-book. With indented white 

» Huguenot Family ia Virginia, p. 346. « Hening, l'r48. » Ibid., 1T69, 1772. 
< Bumaby, p. 81 ; Brissot, p. 237, 249 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 43. 
^ Present State of Yirginia, Jones ; Brissot, p. 240; Weld, p. 114; Abb6 Robin, 
p. 112. 


servants the case was exactly reversed ; they were in the beginning 
the only servile and the principal laboring class. The influx of ne- 
groes reduced them to insignificance, although their numbers do not 
appear to have proportionately diminished. As early as the year 
1623 laws were framed to compel obedience to masters,' and for the 
next fifty years there was much severe legislation to regulate the ser- 
vants. They were not allowed to marry without leave of their mas- 
ters ; if they ran away, addition^ service was the punishment, and for 
a second offence, branding on the cheek, while those who harbored 
them were subjected to heavy penalties.* If they came without indent- 
ures, they were to serve four years, and years of service were added 
for an assault on their master, for engaging in trade, refusing to 
work, or, in the case of women, for having a bastard, unless the father 
was also the master, as well as for running away.' ' These provisions 
of the law enabled grasping masters to greatly protract the period of 
ser\'itude, and rendered the condition of the servants miserable in the 
extreme. The only protection afforded them was the right of pub- 
lic burial, and if their death was under suspicious circumstances the 
neighbors were to view the body.* Although the legislation in re- 
gard to servants disappears almost entirely after the middle of the 
seventeenth century, the existing laws remained in force. An act 
passed in 1748 provided that when a free person was liable to a fine, 
a servant should be whipped; and this illustrates their position as well 
as possible in the yeare prior to the Revolution.* Their condition 
was little better than that of slaves. Loose indentures and harsh 
laws put them at the mercy of their masters. They were coarsely 
clothed, and fed upon meal and water sweetened with molasses,* and 
were frequently punished with great barbarity. They were, as a class, 
of very poor character, for the most part transported convicts and 
the scum of the London streets. Many were kidnapped as children, 
as the traffic was lucrative ; and in some cases, like that of James An- 
nesley, who afterward established his claim to the Anglesea peerage, 
they were shipped to Virginia to bo put out of the way, and die on a 
remote plantation.' In the seventeenth century they formed a pict- 
uresque and important element in society, and were considered in 

» Hening, 1623-'24. « Ibid., 1643, 1657-1659. 

» Ibid., 1643-'67, 1896-1705, 1726, IVSS. 

* Ibid., 166 1-'62. » Ibid., 1748. 

• Anglesea Peerage Case, Howeira State Trials, xvii., 1447. 
^ Howeira State Trials; Maxwell, Hist. Register, i., 166. 


England as typical Virginians. In this waj they figured on the Lon- 
don stage, and served as leading characters in the novels of Defoe^ 
vho seized upon the rough life of Virginia as a welcome aid in his 
portrayal of low and criminal adventures.' In fiction the indented 
servant, either by superior virtue or superior vice, usually by the lat- 
ter, commonly rises from the most menial offices to fortune and estate, 
carries off rich widows, becomes a successful and unscrupulous attor- 
ney, a magistrate, perhaps a clergyman, always a prominent member 
of colonial society.* There were, no doubt, enough instances of such 
careers to justify their use in romance ; but in the great majonty of 
cases, when the period of servitude expired the indented servants be- 
came what were known as poor whites, and thus formed, whether 
bond or free, the lowest class in the community. They were illit- 
erate, degraded, and despised even by the negroes. The presence of 
an inferior and servile race made them idle, shiftless, and unenterpris- 
ing. They never worked except to obtain a bare subsistence, and on 
the frontier they were actually barbarous.' These poor whites and 
the free negroes formed the criminal class ;^ and crime, from their ex- 
istence, and owing to the unequal division of property, seems to have 
been more common in Virginia than in the other colonies, where it 
was exceptional and sporadic, and not so directly attributable to any 
particular portion of the community.* Criminal offences and misde- 
meanors were punished in Virginia, as elsewhere during that period, 
in a rude and simple fashion. Murder, rape, arson, and robbery were 
capital crimes ; while smaller offences, from swearing upward, were ex- 
piated by fines, lashes, exposure in the pillory or stocks, imprisonment, 
and the ducking-stool ; and every county court was required to pro- 
vide the appurtenances necessary for these punishments.' In a society 
where davery made labor a mark of shame, and where the poor-law 
required those receiving public relief to wear a badge of bright color, 
denoting that the possessor was a pauper,' the lowest white class nat- 
urally gained a livelihood by dubious and dishonest as well as preca- 
rious methods. Besides these darker qualities of ignorance and crime 

1 Mrs. Behn, the Widow Ranter ; Defoe, Moll Flanders and Captain Jack. 

* Ibid. ; and see also ** The Life and Character of a Monster lately arrived in 
London," Tract, 1V26. 

> Anburey, ii., 309-833; Meade, i., 866 ; Memoirs of Count Fersen, i., 68; Roche- 
foucauld, L, 69. 

* Meade, L, 866. * Brissot, p. 874. • Hening, 1671, 1706, 1727, 1746, 1748. 
^ Ibid., 1766 ; compare as to poor-laws at a later time, Rochefoucauld, i., 27. 


these people were also illiberal^ narrow-minded, prying, and inquisitive/ 
Their only good qualities seem to have been an easy temper, and much 
real good-nature and hospitable feeling. They were fortunately few in 
number, and were perfectly unimportant both socially and politically. 
They were the turbulent element of Virginian life, and figured prom- 
inently in the crowds which gathered at the horse-race, the hustings, 
or the sessions of the county court. They hung about the taverns 
drinking and gambling, and on all festive occasions engaged in single 
combats, and sometimes general battles.' Their fighting was not sim- 
ply with the fists, but included the brutal practice of " gouging." A 
northern man entering Virginia from Maryland rescued a fellow-trav- 
eller from the hands of a native who had sworn he would '* try the 
strength of his eye-strings." When he reached Hanover Court-house, 
he found an election in progress, and the usual crowd assembled. He 
was immediately invited to " swap horses and watches," narrowly es- 
caped a fight, and had the pleasure of witnessing a gouging-match. 
One of the combatants succeeded in getting a twist in the side-locks 
of his adversary, and then pressed his thumb against the eyeball of 
his opponent, who bawled out "King's cruse " (enough), and the pleas- 
ing match terminated without mutilation, although so tame an ending 
was by no means the rule.' This is a fair picture of the lowest class 
of Virginians — rude, noisy, brawling, drinking fellows, very lazy, and 
sometimes criminal ; but with a redoeroing dash of generous and hos- 
pitable good-nature.* 

It is not easy to distinguish between the two remaining classes in 
Virginian society. The middle class, beginning with the tradesmen 
and merchants, rose gradually through the farmers and small planters, 
until it merged imperceptibly in the ranks of the great landholders. 
The differences between the middle and upper classes were of de- 
gree, not of kind. Both were of sound English stock. Both were 
landholders and slave-ownere in a greater or less degree,* and marriages 
served constantly to unite them more closely by the ties of blood. 
This does not apply to the trading portion of the middle class, who 
were regarded with great contempt by the owners of lands and slaves, 
who esteemed trade a mark of inferiority, and an occupation unsuitcd 

' Smyth, i.,?! ; Michaux's Travels, p. 194 ; Anburey, ii., 333. 

• Anburcy, ibid. ; Weld, p. 142. 

• Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, 1777, p. 82 ; see also the excellent description of 
similar scenes in Rochefoucauld, i., 64. 

• Smyth, i., 68. » Rochefoucauld, i., 69. 


to a man of birth and position.' The majority, however, of the raid- 
die class were yeomen and farmers. A writer long resident in the 
country describes their daily life as follows : ^' A man in this line rises 
in the morning abont six o'clock ; he then drinks a julep made of 
rum, water, and sugar, but very strong ; then he walks, or more gener- 
ally rides, round his plantation, views all his stock and all his crops, 
breakfasts about ten o'clock, on cold turkey, cold meat, fried hominy, 
toast, and cyder, ham, bread-and-butter, tea, coffee, or chocolate; which 
last, however, is seldom tasted but by the women ; the rest of the day 
he spends much in the same manner as a man of the first rank, only 
cyder supplies the place of wine at dinner, and he cats no supper; 
they never even think of it."' 

This was the daily life of the men who formed the great mass of 
the white population of Virginia. They were good specimens of the 
nationality to which they belonged, and were a fine, sturdy, manly race, 
aristocratic in feeling, and from the ownership of slaves despotic in 
temper ; but they were earnest in the maintenance of English liberty. 
They lacked polish of manner, and were sadly deficient in education 
and knowledge of the world, but were without exception generous 
and hospitable. Their families were less ancient and respectable than 
those of the first rank ; but they often acquired large fortunes, and 
the successful ones worked their way to the top in the course of a few 
generations. They were attached to gaming and all sorts of rude 
sports, and roughness was in them always oddly mingled with gentler 
qualities." Such was the vigorous class of genuine English stock 
which gave strength, support, and political power to the great planters 
who ruled and represented Virginia, and imparted tone and color to 
the whole of her society. 

This upper class was Virginia, and the rest of the people were 
merely modifications of the type or simple appendages. These great 
planters were country gentlemen, not in the modern sense, but in that 
of the eighteenth century. Many of them, no doubt, closely resem- 
bled the famous Squire Western of Fielding, and none of them dif- 
fered in any essential particular, except a more intense pride, from the 
English country gentlemen of the same period. Their origin has al- 
ready been described, and the next step is to understand their educa- 
tion, and the influences which surrounded them in boyhood and youth. 

The means of education were sadly deficient. In the early days 

' Soldier and Pioneer, Anderson. * Smyth, l, 41. ■ Ibid., pp. 66, 67. 


worthy people in England had been profoundly impressed with the 
necessity of Christianizing the Indians, and under this impulse money 
was subscribed for a college in Henrico parish ; and the institution 
was actually started, when the great massacre swept it out of exist- 
ence. The East India school was started at the same time, under sim- 
ilar auspices, and met the same fate/ In the year 1660 there was 
a movement in favor of a college, owing to the low condition of the 
clergy ; and in the following year provision was made for such an 
institution, and land was set apart by the Assembly. This solitary 
attempt came to nothing, and the fate of like efforts on the part of 
public-spirited individuals was equally unfortunate.' It is probable 
that there was little or no education of any sort at that period in 
Virginia* An old tract refers vaguely to "a free school and petty 
schools,'* but they must have been of the rudest kind. The govern- 
ment was generally lukewarm toward education, and the Stuart gov- 
ernors were distinctly hostile.' Sir William Berkeley, in 1671, de- 
clared that every man instructed his children according to his ability, 
and gave thanks to God that there were no free schools in Virginia, 
and no probability of any for a hundred years to come.* This amia- 
ble prediction was substantially verified. The untiring exertions and 
manly persistence of Blair succeeded in obtaining a charter for the 
college of William and Mary in 1692, and in establishing it on a firm 
foundation, despite the friendly remark of Seymour, the attorney-gen- 
eral, who said to the Virginian applicants for a charter, when they 
urged, as a reason for the higher education, the salvation of souls by 
the clergy, " Souls ! Damn your souls, grow tobacco." But the col- 
lego was all. There is no indication in the statutes of any desire 
to provide education, and no system of public schools was even at- 
tempted before 1776.* 

In the years prior to the Revolution education in Virginia was at 
as low an ebb as can well be imagined. In childhood the young Vir- 
ginian was brought up among the slaves and their offspring, which 
had the worst possible effect upon both speech and manners.* The 

^ Meade, i., 84. 

* Ibid. ; Foote, i., 11 ; Jones, Present State of Virginia. There were renewed 
efforts at a much later time. Uening, l763-'5& 

' Tyler's Hist of American Literature, i., 90. * Foote, i., 11. 

* Hening ; and see also Rochefoucauld, i., 48. 

' Life of Arthur Lee, i., 11, 12 ; Georgia Hist. Coll., Itinerant Observations, 1745, 
p. 48. 


only reaonrce for tbe first years of education was in tbe grammar or 
country sefaools conducted by the parish minister, or by a freed ser- 
vant/ The principal branches of study were English grammar, alge- 
bra, surveying, and navigation ; but the quality of the instruction was 
poor in the extreme, and the schools themselves were scarce.* In 
some of the more fortunate parishes the clergyman possessed real at- 
tainments and a classical library, and received, as tutor, the sons of the 
wealthy planters.' In many instances, too, the boys studied at home ; 
but it is to be feared that in all cases the discipline was slack, and 
that many young Virginians resembled Patrick Henry in giving more 
time to hunting and fishing than to their books.* The meagre school- 
ing received by Washington was a not uncommon example of the 
education of young men even of good family. In the middle and 
lower classes only the barest rudiments were taught, and those very 
badly. Early in the eighteenth century the Bishop of London ad- 
dressed a series of questions to the Virginian clergy. One of them 
was, ^* Are there any schools in your parish f" The uniform answer, 
with but two exceptions, was, ** None." Another question was, " Is 
there any parish library ?" All the clergy replied, " None," except 
one, who answered, " Wo have the Book of Homilies, the Whole 
Duty of Man, and the Singing Psalms."* 

After snch preliminary training as these trifling opportunities of- 
fered, the young Virginian, when his parents could afford it, was sent 
to William and Mary, or to England, to complete his education. The 
college founded by Blair prospered for many years under his ener- 
getic rule as president, and did much good ; but during the eighteenth 
century it steadily degenerated, falling under the same evil influences 
which ruined the Church. The officers were a president and six pro- 
fessors, all poorly paid, and thei*e was a library of some three thou- 
sand volumes (a large collection for that day), and a cabinet for ex- 
periments with philosophical apparatus. The Indian department had 
proved an utter failure. Courses were given in the classics, moral 
philosophy, metaphysics, mathematics, and divinity.** At the close of 
the old French war instruction had fallen to a low point. The pro- 

> Maxwell, Hist. Reg., iii., 142; Georgia Hist Coll., Itinerant Observations, 1746, 
p. 48. 

' Jones, Present State of Virginia ; Meade, ii.,90 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 105. 

" Foote, i., 66. * Soldier and Pioneer, Anderson. * Meade, i., 190. 

• Bumaby, p. 80 ; Smjtb, p. 65 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 107 ; Maxwell, Hist. Reg., p. 67; 
Georgia Hist OolL, p. 48. 


fessors were incompetent, and, in some cases, of dissolute lives. The 
students were unrestrained and disorderly, and the vicious transatlan- 
tic patronage, and the old useless endowments were ruinous in their 
effects.^ At the time of the Revolution the college was little more 
than a poor grammar-school, sustained by an occasional professor who 
chanced to be worthy of his place. 

Many rich VirginLans, especially younger sons who desired a pro- 
fessional training, went to England ; but they fared little better than 
their brothers who stayed at home, and brought back quite as much 
vice as book-learning. The viciousness of foreign education became, 
indeed, so well recognized that planters were deterred from sending 
their sons abroad.' There were, of course, men like Colonel Byrd of 
Westover, who was educated in England, was a friend of Charles 
Boyle, Earl of Orrery, was admitted to the bar in the Middle Temple, 
and, having travelled in the Low Countries and figured at the Court of 
France, came back to make the roost of all the advantages of his Eu- 
ropean training." Byrd was, as it happened, a man of real talent, and 
left the only writings produced in colonial Virginia which have gen- 
uine literary merit and skill. But there were others, like Arthur Lee, 
who profited greatly by study at English and Scotch universities, and 
it cannot be doubted that there were many members of the ruling 
class who were liberally educated, and showed the results in their read- 
ing and tastes.* But these were the exceptions. The mass of Vir- 
ginians were not well educated, and depended much more on mother- 
wit, of which they had an abundant portion, than on any acquired ad- 
vantages for their success in life.* 

To the recipients of this education the one serious occupation of 
existence, after school and eollege had been passed, was the care of 
their estates. To promote the growth of tobacco, to attend to the 
sale of his crop, to import the necessary implements and the desired 
luxuries, and to bring up a snflficient number of his negroes to useful 
trades, were the chief employments of the Virginian gentleman. His 
public duties were to act as vestryman and justice of the peace, to 
hold court, and sit in the House of Burgesses, and in some cases to 
serve in the militia, or as an officer of the Crown in the civil service. 

» Meade, i., 175, note, and flf. ; Rochefoucauld, i., 26 ; Life of Jefferson, Parton, 
or Randall. 

* Governor Page was kept at home on this account ; Meade, i., 147, 190 ; ii., 00 ; 
Maxwell, Hist Reg., iii., 142. * Byrd MSS., i., 11. ■» Smjtli, i., 65. 

* Jones, Present State of Virginia ; Dawson's Hist. Mag.^ i?., 218. 


To such lives were the sons bred iip ; while the mother and daughters 
of the household were entirely occupied with domestic affairs. End- 
less needle-work, the training of negro maids, and the charge of the 
house, filled the days of Virginian women. 

The style of living was one of reckless profusion and indiscriminate 
hospitality. The latter quality was fostered by circumstances. Even 
in the seventeenth century the custom of receiving strangers was so 
prevalent that it became a subject of legislation. " They shall be re- 
puted to entcrtayne those of curtesic," says the statute, ** with whom 
they make not a certain agreement,"^ and the habit grew with the col- 
ony. Gentlemen were wont to send to the neighboring tavern and 
invite any stranger home to stay as long as he pleased,' and no trav- 
eller described his wanderings without recording his obligations to 
the generous hospitality of the Virginian planters.' 

This unstinted welcome to strangers was due in some measure to 
the isolation and monotony of life. The early settlers spread them- 
selves over the land, clearing plantations here and there in the wilder- 
ness, and this custom was always adhered to. The plantations fol- 
lowed the rivers, which formed for many years the only means of com- 
munication with the outer world. This was slow and circuitous at 
best ; but, although ferries, bridges, and bridle-paths were established 
at an early period,* travel was diflScult, and even dangerous, all through 
the eighteenth century.* Roads winding along the rivers were grad- 
ually opened, and were suflSciently good in fair weather ; but they 
passed through dense forests broken only at intervals of four or five 
miles by a plantation,' and wayfarers were frequently lost and obliged 
to pass the night in the woods, even in the most settled parts of the 
country and in the immediate neighborhood of towns.' Bridges were 
scarce, and the deep and frequent rivers were crossed usually in rick- 
ety boats, or by swimming, which resulted in fatigue and danger to 
the travellers, and great loss of horses swept away in the current." 
Public coaches and post-chaises were unknown. Every one travelled 

> Foote, i., 10; Hening, 1661-'62, 1667. « Kochefoucauld, ii., TO. 

' Huguenot Family, p. 271 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 117 ; Smyth, !., 65. 

* Hening, 1648 ; Foote, i., 10. 

^ Present State of Virginia, Hartwell. 

* Jones, Present State of Virginia; Beverly; Anbnrey, il, 800; Rochefoucauld^ 
il, 121 ; Smyth, i., 16 ; Georgia Hist Coll, Itinerant Observations, 1745. 

' Weld, p. 77. 

' Ibid., p. 128 ; Huguenot Family, p. 271. 

78 H28T0ST OF TEE 

on horseback or in small salkies, while the middle classes contented 
themselves with the cart and farm horses.^ 

The difficulty of travel, and the hospitality of the planters to the 
few who journeyed through the country, prevented any improvement 
in the taverns, or ordinaries, as they were commonly called. Here and 
there in the towns a good inn could be found ; but in the country, and 
especially in the back districts, the pnblic-honses were wretched, often 
mere huts, affording only a shelter from the weather/ There were 
plenty of them, however, such as they were ; but they were used not 
by travellers, but by the natives as places of resort for drinking and 
gaming, and had such a bad effect that many acts were passed for the 
restraint of ** tippling-houses," as the Bui^esses saw fit to style them.* 

The taverns, however, were probably the most uncomfortable habi- 
tations in the province. The houses of the Virginians, varying greatly 
with the social position of the occupant, were, as a rule, comfortable. 
In the towns the houses were of wood for the poorer classes, while 
the better ones were large, and built of brick.* In Norfolk they were 
commonly built of Dutch brick, with thick walls and large chimneys 
at each end, and the more expensive structures were handsomely wain- 
scoted within in hard woods.* In the country wood prevailed in 
building. The homes of the lower classes were mean and small.' 
Those of the middle classes and small farmers, likewise of wood, were 
larger and more convenient They were all low, generally of one story, 
with a loft-roof, and invariably built with two enormous chimneys, 
one at either end, and outside the house, which gave a picturesque ap- 
pearance to these simple and even rude dwellings. The poorer ones 
were neither lathed nor plastered, had wooden chimneys lined with 
clay, and wooden shutters alone to protect the openings for light and 
air. The better sort were plastered and painted, and possessed brick 
chimneys and glass windows, but the furniture was simple. The beds 
were good, but uncurtained ; and homely wooden stools took the place 
of cane chairs.' 

The houses of the ruling and representative class were very differ- 
ent from those of the great majority of Virginians. When the trav- 

I Meade, i., 19 ; Anburcy, ii., 63 ; Smyth, i., 69. 

' Anburey, ii., 803 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 93 ; Smyth, i., 16, 50. 

* Georgia Hist Coll., Itinerant Observations, 1745 ; Hening, 1644, 1668, 1748. 

* Jones, Present State of Virginia. 

* Forrest, Historical and Descriptive Sketches of Norfolk. 

* Rochefoucauld, ii., 23. ^ Smyth, i., 49 ; Huguenot Family, p. 265. 


eller came to one of the widely separated gaps in the forest and found 
himself upon the herders of a great plantation, the estate presented 
the appearance of a small village. In the centre stood the house of 
the planter, around which were clustered the oflSccs, all separate from 
the main building, the tobacco-houses, and the numerous huts of the 
negro quarters. In the fields the slaves were seen sawing wood ai}d 
making clearings, or cultivating tobacco. Not far away the herds of 
cattle were at pasture, and the whole scene recalled an Euglish farm.^ 

The houses of the planters varied, of course, greatly with the taste 
of the occupants. Some were of wood, with massive timbers, and the 
typical outside chimney.* Many were of brick, and others still of cut 
stone. Some were low and picturesque, while others piled one story 
upon another as in the great Page house at Rosewcll, and towered 
above the trees in bare and tasteless masses. All, however, were spa- 
cious, with large, low rooms, panelled and wainscoted in hard woods, 
and rejoicing in great fireplaces, where wood fires blazed, and over which 
were sometimes carved the armorial bearings of the family. These 
great houses, with their narrow windows, diamond panes, and tall 
chimneys, rising in the midst of estates of great natural beauty, strong- 
ly resembled the manor-houses of England, and were often fuinished 
with a substantial elegance not unworthy of the mother country.' 

The houses indicate fairly enough the extravagance and profusion 
of the Virginia planter, induced by the easily acquired wealth result- 
ing from the sale of tobacco raised by low-priced slaves. The con- 
stant fluctuations in the price of the great staple tended to increase 
extravagance of living, and give a tone of reckless speculation to all 
affairs of business and money-making. An amount of style was main- 
tained strangely at variance with the ignorance of the people, and the 
isolated and commonly solitary lives of the planters. The most marked 
display was in carriages and horses, due, in some measure, no doubt, 
to the fact that there were no other means of getting from place to 
place ; but owing still more to the fondness for show and the love of 

* Anburey, ii., 287; Weld, p. 114; Beverly; Smyth, i., 16; Chatcaubriauil, 
(Euvres, torn, vii., Voyage en Am6rique, 1791, p. 16. 

• Anderson, Soldier and Fioneer; Weld, p. 119. 

' '^My Ride to the Barbecue," Description of Gates^s House; Beverly; Meade, 
L, 381,Ro8ewell; Anburey, ii., 819, Randolph House at Tuckahoe; Weld, p. 118, 
119 ; Smyth, i., 15, Ck>untry-8eats on the James River ; p. 27, Carter Estate at Shir- 
ley Hundred ; p. 146, Estates on Potomac ; Byrd MSS., ii., 69, Spots wood House 
at Germanna. 


Lorsc-raciDg. Coaclies, chariots, and chaises were all in common ase.' 
In the year 1730 Colonel Spotswood advertises for sale **his coach, 
chariot, chaise, and coach-horses ;" and the chariot is described as hav- 
ing been '* looked upon as one of the best made, handsomest, and 
easiest chariots in London." Every planter had his stud, including 
fine coach-horses, hunters, and racers; many had famous stallions, and 
great attention was paid to breeding.' In every great house there was 
a handsome service of plate, and the table was bountiful, although 
chiefly supplied by the products of the plantation.* All articles of 
apparel were imported and costly ; but, nevertheless, both men and 
women dressed handsomely, and in the height of the English fashion. 
A good deal of this splendor was crude and rough. '* It is a mis- 
erable luxury," said Brissot, the famous Girondin ; " they wear silk 
stockings and boots ;" and again he says, speaking of the showy 
dresses of the women, " It is a poor luxury of high prices."* In many 
houses, where the tables were bountifully spread, and masses of old 
plate graced the sideboards, there were windows broken ten years be- 
fore, and still unmended, buildings out of repair, and only the stables 
in good condition.* Even the fine coach-horses, on which they prided 
themselves, were not always carefully matched.* The plantera lived on 
their noble estates, and kept open house with the splendor and afflu- 
ence of nabobs,^ in the midst of retinues of slaves and studs of horses ; 
but their magnificence had a certain barbaric element, was unfinished 
and incomplete, and showed here and there ragged edges and coarse 
linen beneath its brocaded silks. Ready money was, moreover, very 
scarce, despite the apparent wealth, and luxuries had to be paid for. 
The result was debt. It seems as if the leading families must have 
gone through bankruptcy once in a generation. The folly of building 
great houses brought many estates to the hammer.* High living and 
play ruined others; and many young heirs were forced to the frontier 
to begin a new career.* Legislation favored the debtor class. During 
a " stint " in the tobacco crop debtors were to pay only two-thirds of 
their debts, a little later it was enacted that money debts were not 
recoverable ; and as early as the year 1657 an approach was made to a 

» Hening, 1720, 1762. « Anburey, ii., 320; Brissot, p. 378 ; Smyth, l, 21, 66. 

• Smyth, ibid. ; Buraaby, p. 43 ; Anburey, ii., 298 ; Burke, iii., 266; Hist Doc 
relating to South Carolina, Young's Letters ; Huguenot Family, p. 265. 

• Brissot, pp. 367, 373 ; Georgia Hiat. CJoll., Itinerant Observations, 1746, p. 48. 

• Rochefoucauld, i., 1 17 ; Smyth, L, 27. • Georgia Hist. Coll., p. 48. 

^ Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, p. 82. ' Meade, i., 882. * Foote, i., 149. 


bankruptcy act by relieving poor debtors on a surrender of their prop- 
erty.' As time went on the habit of running in debt increased. Phy- 
sicians could not collect their fees ; a lawsuit was necessary for trades- 
men to recover payment for their goods. Lands were declared by 
law not liable to seizure, and in regard to slaves and personal prop- 
erty the creditor was easily evaded. In an agricultural communi- 
ty, headed by a small body of land-owning country gentlemen, the 
financial integrity so essential to the very existence of a trading 
people was almost unknown.' And so the extravagance and osten- 
tation, the generous hospitality, and the high living and running 
in debt, went on, and the Virginians, for the most part, lived in 
a chronic state of insolvency, and borrowed money at most extortion- 
ate rates of interest, and were withal very happy, and jovial, and con- 

The home life of the Virginian gentleman was one of easy monot- 
ony. An observant traveller has left a detailed account of their every- 
day existence and habits. 

'* The gentleman of fortune rises about nine o'clock ; he may, per- 
haps, make an excursion to walk as far as his stable to sec his hoi'ses, 
which is seldom more than fifty yards from his house ; he returns to 
breakfast between nine and ten, which is generally tea or coffee, bread- 
and-butter, and very thin slices of venison, ham, or hung-becf. He 
then lies down on a pallet on the floor, in the coolest room in the 
house, in his shirt and trousers bnly, with a negro at his head and an- 
other at his feet, to fan him and keep oflf the flies ; between twelve 
and one he takes a draught of bombo, or toddy, a liquor composed of 
water, sugar, rum, and nutmeg, which is made weak and kept cool ; 
he dines between two and three, and at every table, whatever else there 
may be, a ham and greens, or cabbage, is always a standing dish. At 
dinner he drinks cider, toddy, punch, port, claret, and madeira, which 
is generally excellent here ; having drank some few glasses of wine 
after dinner, he returns to his pallet, with his two blacks to fan him, 
and continues to drink toddy, or sangaree, all the afternoon ; he does 
not always drink tea. Between nine and ten in the evening he eats a 
light supper of milk and fruit, or wine, sugar, and fruit, etc., and al- 
most immediately retires to bed for the night. 

" This is his general way of living in his family, when he has no 

> HeniDg, 1640, 1648, 1645, 1667. * Rochefoucauld, ii., 89. 

» Bumaby, pp. 31, 83. 


company. No doabt many differ from it, some in one respect, some 
in another; bat more follow it than do not."^ 

This description may have been drawn from an extreme case ; bat 
the aathor had abundant opportunities and is supported by sober 
Bumaby, who remarks with surprise that he had seen a man in the 
fall vigor of life lying on a couch with a negress standing by to keep 
oflE the flies.* That they were self-indulgent in other ways, high livers, 
and often hard drinkers, is the testimony of all the contemporary au- 
thorities, native and foreign.* The plantations were managed, as a rule, 
by overseers,^ and, except a brief and feverish interest in the tobacco 
crop, there was nothing in their occupations to break the indolent 
tranquillity of existence. 

The domestic life of the Virginian lady was more monotonous, even 
if her time was better employed, than that of the men. A letter quoted 
by Bishop Meade* says, " Let us repair to the old lady's room (Mi-s. 
Washington's), which is precisely in the style of our good old aunt's — 
that is, nicely fixed for aJl sorts of work. On one side sits the cham- 
ber-maid with her knitting ; on the other, a little colored pet, learning 
to sew. An old decent woman is there with her table and shears, cut- 
ting out the negroes' winter clothes, while the old lady directs them 
all, incessantly knitting herself." In these pursuits, managing the 
housQ, training the servants, and working for the benefit of the whole 
establishment, the lives of Virginian women were passed. They were 
notable house-keepers, and good wives and mothers. They were both 
virtuous and agreeable,* and intrigues and love affairs seem never to 
have been in vogue. We hear of slave mistresses,^ but never of the 
gallantries then in fashion in Europe. Burnaby has left an account 
of the life of the Virginian ladies which, although very much colored 
by English prejudices, is not without interest 

"The women (of Virginia) are, upon the whole, rather handsome, 
thongh not to be compared with our fair countrywomen in England. 
They have but few advantages, and consequently are seldom accom- 
plished ; this makes them reserved and unequal to any interesting or 
refined conversation. They are immoderately fond of dancing, and, 
indeed, it is almost the only amusement they partake of ; but even in 

> Smyth, i., 41. « Burnaby, p. 156. 

8 Burnaby, pp. 81, 48; Joncs,Pres. State of Virginia; Anburey,ii.,293; Burke, iii., 
265 ; Memoirs of Count Fersen, i., 68 ; Hist. Doc. relating to South Carolina, Young^s 
Letters ; and compare account of John Boiling in Dawson^s Hist. Mag., iv., 218. 

* Weld, p. 1 14. • i., 98. • Rochefoucauld, i., 117. ' Anburey, ii,, 842. 


this they discover great want of taste and elegance, and seldom ap- 
pear with that gracefulness and ease which these movements are so 
calculated to display. Toward the close of an evening, when the com- 
pany are pretty well tired with country-dances, it is usual to dance 
jigs ; a practice originally borrowed, I am informed, from the ne- 
groes. The Virginian ladies, excepting these amusements, and now 
and then a party of pleasure into the woods to partake of a barbacue, 
chiefly spend their time in sewing and taking care of their families."^ 
This description gives us a glimpse of the simple amusements 
which served to break the level of daily life. A dance in the evening, 
when some young neighbor, possibly Patrick Henry, or Thomas Jef- 
ferson, came to the hospitable house, ready to play on the violin, or, 
perhaps, a picnic in the woods, were the best diversions afl^orded in the 
solitude of the country. The great event was the annual visit on 
business or pleasure, or both, to Williamsbui^. Once a year, when 
the House of Burgesses met, and the Supreme Court was in session, 
the great coaches were brought out on the plantations, the six horses 
were harnessed, and the leading families drove in state to the capital. 
There the fashionable world of Virginia assembled. They spoke of 
their annual gathering with all the simple and ludicrous pride of a 
provincial aristocracy as rivalling the Court of St. James and the so- 
ciety of London. Sources of interest and excitement were not lack- 
ing during the season. If politics ran high, as in the years when 
revolution was preparing, society could gather at the capitol and listen 
to the classic oratory of Richard Henry Lee, or the fervid speeches of 
Patrick Henry, dressed in his snit of peach-blossom velvet, and defy- 
ing King George, to the great alarm of the conservative land-owning 
gentry.' Perhaps the event of the year was the inauguration of a 
new governor ; and glowing accounts are extant of the pomp and pa- 
rade which greeted Lord Botetourt, and of the feasting and the loyal- 
ty which hailed his entry into office.' At all times the season at 
Williamsburg was gay. English fashions prevailed, and the officers 
of the Crown did much to promote social enjoyment. The Governor 
gave balls in his palace, as it was the fashion to term his house, and 
the birthnights of majesty were celebrated with great rejoicing. There 
were regular assemblies, and two sets of races for subscription purses 
were given annually.* In the gayeties of Williamsburg both sexes 

> Burnaby, p. 86. * Wirt's Life of Patrick Henry, p. 90. 

' Burke, iil., 342. * Jones, Present State of Virginia; Smyth, i., 20. 


shared ; but the season was short, and the ladies relapsed into the roa- 
tine of daily plantation existence after a brief holiday. The men were 
more fortunate, and made up for their indolence in regard to work by 
a surprising activity in play. Their amusements were such as might 
be expected in a rural society of considerable wealth and compara- 
tively slight education. Horse-racing and race balls were the events, 
and fox-hunting, cock-fighting, drinking, and card-playing the regular 
pastimes. A contemporary sermonizer, with some severity, says of 
the Virginians, " To eat and drink delicately and freely ; to feast, and 
dance, and riot ; to pamper cocks and horses ; to observe the anxious, 
important, interesting event which of two horses can run fastest, or 
which of two cocks can flutter and spur most dexterously ; these arc 
the grand affairs that almost engross the attention of some of our 
great men, and little low-lived sinners imitate them to the utmost of 
their power* The low-born sinner can leave a needy family to stance 
at home, and add one to a rabble at a horse-race or a cock-^ght He 
can get drunk, and turn himself into a beast with the lowest as well 
as his betters with more delicate liquors."* Even the partial Burke 
admits, that " The character of the people for hospitality and excess, 
and those of the land proprietors, particularly on the banks of rivers, 
enabled them to indulge their passions even to profusion and excess. 
Drinking parties were then fashionable, in which the strongest head 
or stomach gained the victory. The moments that could be spared 
from the bottle were devoted to cards. Cock-fighting was also fash- 
ionable. I find, in 1747, a main of cocks advertised to be fought 
between Gloucester and James River. The cocks on one side were 
called * Bacon's Thunder-bolts,' after the celebrated rebel of 1676.'" 
But fortunatey there has been preserved an exact account of the 
sports in which all classes then indulged. 

In the Virginia Gazette for October, 1737, we read : " We have ad- 
vice from Hanover County, that on St. Andi-ew's Day there are to be 
Horse Races and several other Diversions, for the entertainment of 
the Gentlemen and Ladies, at the Old Field, near Captain John Bick- 
crton's, in that county (if permitted by the Hon. Wm. Byrd, Esquire, 
Proprietor of said land), the substance of which is as follows, viz. : 
* It is proposed that 20 Horses or Mares do run round a three miles^ 
course for a prize of five pounds. 

" * That a Hat of the value of 20*. be cudgelled for, and that after 

» Campbell, p. 495. ■ Burke, Ui., 402. 


the first challenge made the Drums are to beat every Quarter of an 
hour for three challenges round the Ring, and none to play with their 
Left hand. 

" * That a violin be played for by 20 Fiddlers ; no person to have 
the liberty of playing unless he. bring a fiddle with him. After the 
prize is won they are all to play together, and each a different tune, 
and to be treated by the company. 

"*That 12 Boys of 12 years of age do run 112 yards for a Hat of 
the cost of .12 shillings. 

"*That a Flag be flying on said. Day 30 feet high. 

" * That a handsome entertainment be provided for the subscribers 
and their wives; and such of them as are not so happy as to have 
wives may treat any other lady. 

" * That Drums, Trumpets, Hautboys, &c., be provided to play at 
said entertainment. 

" * That after dinner the Royal Health, His Honor the Governor's, 
&c., are to be drunk. 

" * That a Quire of ballads be sung for by a number of Songsters, 
all of them to have liquor suflficient to clear their Wind Pipes. 

" * That a pair of Silver Buckles be wrestled for by a number of 
brisk young men. 

" * That a pair of handsome Shoes be danced for. 

"'That a pair of handsome silk Stockings of one Pistole value 
be given to the handsomest young country maid that appears in the 
Field. With many other Whimsical and Comical Diversions too nu- 
merous to. mention. 

" * And as this mirth is designed to be purely innocent and void of 
offence, all persons resorting there are desired to behave themselves 
with decency and sobriety; the subscribers being resolved to dis- 
countenance all immorality with the utmost rigor.' "* 

These were rough, honest English sports, whose very names sound 
strange now, but much better than the card-playing and cock-fighting. 
Such amusements prevailed everywhere. At Norfolk a fair was held 
at regular intervals in the market-place, accompanied by sack and hogs- 
head races, greased poles, and bull-baiting.' At Assateague the great 
event of the year was the horse-penning, when the wild colts were 
driven in, and the whole country-side flocked to see the show, and 

* Quoted in Rives^s Life of Madison, i., 87. 
> Forrest's Hist. Sketches. 


join in the expected barbecue and dancing/ Public events in Eng- 
land were commemorated in Virginia with vast show and mnch loyal 
effusion. The battle of Culloden was celebrated by processions, car- 
rying a child in a warming-pan, hanging and burning the Pretender 
in effigy, and by public balls and illuminations.* In fine weather 
barbecues in the woods, when oxen, pigs, and sturgeon were roasted, 
were frequent, and much enjoyed by all, ending usually, among the 
lower classes, with much intoxication.* Another great source of de- 
light was the cock-fight The pit was placed in the centre of the 
square formed by the two or three houses of the nearest village, and 
at an early hour the road was alive with carriages and pedestrians on 
their way to see the match. All classes crowded eagerly together 
about the pit, where the fine cocks gave great sport* It was the 
same at races and fox-hunts. The isolation of their daily lives drove 
men to seek every occasion for meeting. The small farmers assem- 
bled at the nearest tavern to play billiards and drink.* The session 
of the court filled the county towns once a month with a lai^e and 
miscellaneous crowd, whose great topics of conversation were horses 
and lawsuits, and a day of conviviality generally ended with fights 
of a rather savage character.* Duelling does not seem to have been 
common, and was probably rendered fashionable by our French allies.^ 
In colonial times differences were usually settled by the more prim- 
itive fist The evil of all these meeting!?, and the bane of Virginian 
society, wiis drinking and gaming, especially the latter, which was car- 
ried to a frightful extent by all classes. We can trace the growth of 
this evil in the laws. Statutes were passed against gaming ; and a pen- 
alty was exacted from innkeepers who permitted it ; it was forbidden 
on race-fields ; gambling debts were declared void, and private lotteries 
were suppressed as harmful to the morals of the people.* But legis- 
lation was vain. The genial, dissolute, free -thinking Fauquier, who 
gathered about his table the rising genius of Virginia — Jefferson, 
Wythe, Mason, and the like — was a devotee, and a ruined one, to high 
play. The great Byrd fortune was probably but one of many dissi- 
pated at the gaming-table. Gambling was rife among all ranks of 
society, and was the fascination and excitement on every occasion.* 

* Howe's Virginia. ' Forrest's Hist. Sketches ; Howe's Virginia. 
» Weld, p. 140. -* Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, 1787. 

» Rochefoucauld, ii., 21. • Michaux, p. 194 ; Anburey, ii., 838. 

' Abbd Robin, p. 182. • Hening, 1744, 1748, 1769! 

• Anburey, ii., 828; Brissot, p. 873; Burke, iii., 333; Weld, p. 142; Rochefou- 
cauld, ii., 89 ; Michaux, p. 194 ; Byrd MSS., ii., 77. 


In a society so constituted, and so much addicted to the amuse- 
ments just described, intellectual pursuits of any kind found little 
room. Fauquier, \vith all his gambling and high living, was a patron 
of arts and literature, but he found little of either to encourage in 
Virginia.* There were no arts, and the literature was next to nothing. 
During the whole colonial period only three books were produced by 
natives of the country which rose above the level of statistical or po- 
litical tracts and occasional sermons. Robert Beverly beguiled the 
leisure of a country gentleman by writing an inaccurate but not unin- 
teresting history of the province, and the Rev. William Stith followed 
his example with an exact and very dull account of the early years 
of the settlement The third Virginian author was Colonel Byrd, 
whose rambling memoirs and journal of his doings as a commissioner 
to run the North Carolina boundary -line exhibit strong powers of 
observation, great humor, and possess genuine literary merit Such 
was the literature of Virginia. That it was so very meagre is not to 
be wondered at when we remember that it was after the Restoration 
that the Cavalier Berkeley gave thanks to God, not only that there 
were no schools, but that there was no printing-press in Virginia, and 
no prospect of any. It was not until 1736 that the first newspaper, 
the Virginia Gazette^ appeared, and this remained for many years the 
only journal in the colony.* The first theatre was opened at Wil- 
liamsburg in 1752, for a company of New York comedians; so that 
the drama at the period of the Revolution was of very recent date.' 
Intercourse with the outer world was extremely limited. The first 
general post-oflSce was established in 1692-93 ; but it was local in its 
operation and very expensive.* Its sphere was gradually enlarged ; but 
even in the middle of the eighteenth century a mail from the North. 
a fortnight old, and a post to the South once a month, both conduct- 
ed by individuals, were considered expeditious and very convenient' 

English classics and a few of the standard authors of the day form- 
ed the resources of those who read. Blair's "Sermons," Sterne's 
works. The Spectator, the " Whole Duty of Man," and Tillotson's 
"Sermons," were the books most in use.' In a private library at 
Yorktown were found the " History of England," a collection of char- 
ters and bills, the works of Pope, Essays of Montaigne, " Gil Bias," 
and an essay on Women by " Mr. Thomas," which last, we are told, 

> Burke, Hi., 401. « Ibid., iii., 126. » Ibid. 

^ Hening, 1692~'9d. * Mazweirs Hist. Register, i., 67. ' Meade, 1, 25. 


bad a great popularity in all the colonics.* Sach reading was good 
so far as it went, but it was not extensive, and it is to be feared that 
the Virginians were not much given to reading, or to the sister art of 
writing. Governor Spotswood, who was not slow to take every advan- 
tage of the Burgesses in their many controversies, remarked on one oc- 
casion, in an official reply to some remonstrance : " I observe that the 
grand ruling party in your House has not furnished chairmen of two 
of your standing committees who can spell English or write com- 
mon-sense, as the grievances under their own handwriting will man- 
ifest"' Matters no doubt improved in this respect during the 
eighteenth century; but, even in the yeara prior to the Revolution, 
Virginians, as a riile, read little and studied less," if we except the 
young and rising men who belonged to the new period then just be- 

Although the intellectual resources were slender, the Virginian gen- 
tlemen had, apart from merely physical amusements, one subject of 
abiding interest. As has already been mentioned, they absorbed all 
the appointed offices of the State, and they also participated actively 
and steadily in current politics. After some fluctuations during the 
period of the English Commonwealth, the suffrage had been restricted 
to freeholders, and finally to those owning fifty acres of land.* Im- 
migrants were naturalized at first, after a term of years, on taking the 
oaths of allegiance and supremacy; then by act of the Assembly; 
then by the Governor on application ; and, finally, by the Assembly 
on petition." The suffrage, therefore, was enough of a privilege to be 
desired, and its exercise was further enforced by law." Voting was 
oral, and if the poll was not concluded on the first day, it was adjourn- 
ed by the sheriff.' The leading planters usually stood for the House, 
and election day was one of the great occasions similar to court day ; 
all the people poured into the polling-place, where there was the cus- 
tomary drinking and gaming, and many rough scenes. The candi- 
dates were obliged on this day of the year to unbend and mingle 
with the crowd. They were compelled to treat their constituents, 
and sometimes walked about with a can of grog, asking the free and 

' Abbd Robin, p. 142 ; compare also Burke, ill., 400. 

' Tyler's Hist, of Amer. Literature, 1715-80, i., 88 ; Campbell, p. 395. 

■ Joncs'd Present State of Virginia. 

* Burke, ii., 108 ; Foote, i., 13 ; Hening, 1665, 1Y62. 

* Hening, 1667, 1670-'80, 1705 ; and see petitions of later jears. 

* Heuing, 1769, » Ibid., 1646, 1769. 


independeot electors to drink with tbem/ It i;vas a good school of 
practical politics, even if somewhat rough, and the excitement, rude 
as it must have been, was not without zest to the participants. 

The society which was organized in this way, and lived after this 
fashion, gave little opportunity for the growth of the democratic sen- 
timent. There was none of the friction and stimulus afforded by 
large towns. There was no intercourse with the outside world 
through the channels of commerce. The people were scattered, and 
wholly agricultural. The large number of convicts, of bonded ser- 
vants, and of negroes helped to brand very deeply the lines of de- 
marcation between the different members of the community. The 
solitary life on a great plantation in the midst of inferiors and slaves, 
the system of primogeniture, and the importance attached to landed 
estates .as the. only form of wealth, all contributed powerfully to one 
result. Theoretically, an aristocracy should have been developed, and 
it is easy to show that it existed as really as if the members had been 
distinguished by titles. In a word, Virginian society developed into 
an aristocracy of commoners, but none the less into a genuine aris- 
tocracy. The most powerful support was given by the system of 
entail. No estate tail over two hundred pounds was defeasible with- 
out an act of the Assembly, and the entailed estate passed, of course, 
invariably to the eldest sons, while the younger ones were brought up 
to professions. In some cases land was settled on the younger chil- 
dren, but the bulk of the property went to the oldest son. In the 
middle of the eighteenth century legislation was largely concerned 
with land, and was strongly in the land - holding interest ; but the 
drift of public opinion then began to set against it, the business of 
docking entails increased rapidly, and, finally, the whole system fell 
during the Revolution beneath the attacks headed by Jefferson.' 
Prior to that time, however, it flourished in full force, and formed, 
as primogeniture and entail always must, the surest foundation of a 
strong and permanent aristocracy. 

Scattered allusions also curiously illustrate the purely aristocratic 
society of Virginia, of which the existence is proved by the law of 
entail. The early law in regard to well-born persons has already been 
adverted to, but there is much stronger and later evidence. A letter 

' Rives's Life of Madison, i., 179 ; Foote, ii., 177. 

» Howe's Virginia ; Maxwell's Hist. Register, iii., 142 ; Hening, 1727, 1748 ; and 
from 1764 to 1778 for the business of docking entails. 

90 histohy of the 

is preserved, by Bishop Meade, from one Mr. Thompson, a clergymstn 
of the best sort, who desired to marry the widow of Governor Spots- 
wood. The family objected on the score of inferiority of social posi- 
tion. The letter begins as follows : " Madam, — ^By diligently perus- 
ing your letter I perceive there is a material ailment, which I ought 
to have answered, upon which your strongest objection against com- 
pleting my happiness would seem to depend, viz., that you would in- 
cur the censures of the world for marrying a person of my station 
and character. By which I understand that you think it a diminution 
of your honor and the dignity of your family to marry a person in the 
station of a clergyman.*' Then follows a curious piece of reasoning 
to show the social equality of clergy and gentry.' 

The social distinctions were most rigidly observed in the churches, 
where all classes of necessity met together. One vestryman was pub- 
licly thanked for displacing an unworthy woman who had ventured 
to sit above her degree.' The great families occupied the principal 
pews, generally in the galleries, while the floor was common to all.* 
In some of the churches certain pews were set apart, and marked 
" Magistrates " and " Magistrates' Ladies."* It is related of the Car- 
ter family that they built the parish church, reserving a large pew 
near the chancel, and that on Sunday the congregation waited outside 
until the family arrived, and then followed them in.* A member of 
a similar family " was buried, according to her own directions, beneath 
the pavement of the aisle of that wing of the church which was oc- 
cupied by the poor. She directed this to be done as an act of self- 
abasement for the pride she had manifested and the contempt she 
had exhibited toward the common people during her life, alleging that 
she wished them to trample upon her when she was dead."* The old 
records abound also in examples of the state kept by the old families. 
A servile class rendered labor a shame, and trade was despised. It 
was esteemed a disgrace for a young man to enter the counting-house 
of the first merchant in Virginia.^ The planters looked upon them- 
selves as of different clay from the rest of the community. One of 
them drives his sword into a billiard-marker, but no notice is taken 
of it, although the man barely escapes death.* One foreign traveller 
says that every proprietor would be a lord, and that they had every 

> Meade, ii., 79 ; see p. 13. « Ibid., i., 866. • Ibid, i., 210; ii., 875. 

♦ Maxwell, Hist Register, v., 88. * Meade, u., 116. • Ibid., ii., 412. 
^ Fersen, i., 63 ; Anderson, Soldier and Pioneer ; Anburey, IL, 298. 
' Rochefoucauld, ii., 40. 


aristocratic principle. They took great pride " in his majestie's an- 
cient and great colony and dominion of Virginia ;'** and one of them 
declares that " Virginia may be justly esteemed the happy retreat of 
true Britons and true Churchmen."* But, although they held all the 
offices, their fortunes were not wrapped up in the royal government. 
Their loyalty was as independent as it was zealous, but with no tinge 
of inferiority; and they would not even suffer any attempt to in- 
troduce an etiquette other than their own.* There were few Tories 
among them, and while they gave freely to government, they chafed 
at the duties and restrictions on trade.* 

They had the vices and the virtues of an aristocracy. They were 
indolent, vain, and imperious; politically liaughty, and sensitive to 
any restraint.* They were neither enterprising nor inventive, but 
their address was excellent ; they spoke well and fluently ; had excel- 
lent sense, and much shrewdness in matters of business.* Many of 
them were men of liberal sentiments, enlightened understanding, and 
knowledge of the world.' 

Leading a life which alternated between intense bodily activity 
and the most profound indolence, addicted to coarse indulgences and 
rough sports, without the opportunity or desire for mental effort, the 
Vii^inian gentleman was still essentially a patrician. As proud of 
his acres, and as haughty among his dependents as the greatest Eng- 
lish lords, the Virginian was as sensitive in regard to his rights and 
as jealous of his political position as any Puritan of New England. 
A rigid code of honor was scrupulously preserved, and every gentle- 
man was accountable under it for his actions. The Virginian planter 
was proud of his descent. He knew by heart his own genealogy and 
that of all his neighbors. No peer of the realm more fully believed 
himself to be of a different stuff from other mortals than the Virgin- 
ian. Burke's famous sentence describes them exactly : " Those who 
had been accustomed to command were the last who would consent 
to obey." Despite the indolent life, the boorish amusements, and the 
too prevalent illiteracy, the natural genius of the great planters was 
strong and sound. They looked on themselves as the governing class, 
as the natural leaders of the people, and they possessed an unquestion- 
ed supremacy. When the shock came, they proved themselves fine 

* Hening, 1699. ■ Jones, Present State of Virginia. • Burke, iii., 876. 

* Howe's Virginia; Burnaby, p. 36. • Burnaby, pp. 31, 85. 

* Jones, Present State of Virginia; Abb6 Robin, p. 205-*6. ' Smyth, i., 65. 


soldiers, sagacious politicians, great lawyers, and statesmen. Oat of 
this apparently inert aristocracy, steeped as it would seem in pride 
and sloth, came a set of leaders who have done the greatest honor 
to the American name. All the stress of oppression and of war was 
required to rouse the latent life ; but at the great period in our his- 
tory, the Virginian aristocracy proved themselves worthy of the fore- 
most places. The ruling class was small numerically; but a body 
which produced in one generation Gk^orge Washington, John Marshall, 
Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and James Madison, to say nothing 
of the Lees, the Randolphs, the Fendletons, Wythe, Mason, and the 
rest, is one which deserves a great position not only in the history of 
the United States, but in that of the English race and of the world. 


Chapter III 

MARYLAND FROM 1632 TO 1766. 

The colonial history of Maryland offers two points of especial in- 
terest. Maryland was the first proprietary government in America, ^ 
and she lays claim to the distinction of having been the first state 
where religious toleration not only prevailed in practice, but was es- 
tablished by law. These two facts, their causes and results, and thcf ^ 
questions growing out of them, not only form the staple of her colo- 
nial history, but give it all the interest it possesses. From their nat- 
ure, too, they are closely connected with the characters and careers of 
the founder of the settlement and his successors. They present, also, 
the first instance in America of a colony upon which the influence of 
an individual left an abiding mark, and did much to shape its future 

George Calvert, Baron of Baltimore, began his public career under 
the patronage of Robert Cecil. His talents and industry united with 
a quiet moderation of character and a wise discreetness to raise him, 
under James I., to the office of Secretary of State, and to the position 
of a leader of the government forces in the House of Commons. In 
an evil hour he resisted Buckingham, or was, at least, unlucky enough 
to stand in the way of the all-powerful favorite. George Calvert was 
too prudent a man to persist in such an opposition, and, proclaiming 
himself a Catholic, he resigned his office. For this loss of place he 
was consoled by a peerage and a fee of £6000, paid him by his suc- 
cessor. Like most of the men in Jameses Court, Calvert had a taste 
for money-getting, without being troubled by unfashionable scruples ; 
but he differed from his fellow -courtiers in his ability to keep the 
riches he acquired. From an early period Calvert had been interested 
in schemes of colonization, and in a purely commercial way. He was 
one of the patentees of the Virginia Company, and subsequently re- 
ceived a large grant of territory in Newfoundland. His religious 


opinions, or rather the period of his conversion to Catholicism, have 
been matters of warm discussion ; but the most recent investigations 
make it probable that Calvert was either born a Catholic, or became 
one at an early period of his life. The old and generally accepted 
story that he resigned the secretaryship on account of scruples of 
conscience, arising from his recent convci*sion to Rome, can no longer 
be sustained. Whatever else is doubtful, it is certain that 
Calvert was forced out of office by Buckingham; and the 
avowal of the religion he had long secretly professed served as a con- 
venient cloak to the real reasons for his retreat. That Calvert con- 
cealed his religious opinions for a long number of years, is in perfect 
keeping with his character and career. The court of James L was 
not the place for a sternly religious man of hostile faith to obtain 
worldly success. When Calvert, now Lord Baltimore, found himself 
deprived of office, he turned his thoughts to his colony of Ferryland, 
in the province of Avalon, in Newfoundland, whither he soon after 
proceeded with his family. In that inhospitable r^ion he quickly 
perceived the impossibility of successful colonization, and in 
1628, therefore, he sailed to the South, and landed in Virginia. 
His purpose was an obvious one — the foundation of a settlement in . 
a country blessed with a more genial climate than that which he had 
left. The Virginians tendered to him, on his arrival among them, the 
oath of allegiance, which he took, and the oath of supremacy, which 
he refused ; and he was then requested to depart tbe colony, as he 
would not acknowledge the King's prerogatives. The objects of 
Lord Baltimore were as plain to the Virginians as they are to us. 
He was no oi'dinary colonist, nor were his schemes those of even the 
richest planters. He came to found a state, and to be its ruler. The 
Virginians had gone too far, and were too numerous to pass under his 
control, nor would they voluntarily permit the erection of an impe* 
rium in imperio. Courteously but firmly they dismissed Lord Bal- 
timore, and hastened his departure. He returned to England and 
again visited Ferryland, where he did good service against the French ; 
but the remembrance of the Virginian country did not leave him, 
and in 1632 he drew a charter for the signature of Charles L, 
granting to himself and his heirs all the country included in 
the present Slate of Maryland, and a large part of what is now the 
State of Delaware. Before this charter passed the seals Lord Balti- 
more died. From what is known of his career, it appears that in 
politics he was a friend of high prerogative, and a complaisant court- 


ier in a corrupt court ; that in religion lie was a moderate Catholic, 
and in general character a shrewd, discreet man of the world. Of 
such a man worldly wisdom and good management in both public 
and private a£Eairs could be safely predicated ; but it was not from 
such persons that liberal views emanated in the reign of James I. 
Subservient to the slightest wishes of the King and to the will of 
Buckingham, Calvert was not the man to have far-sighted plans and 
high-minded, enlightened views of religious toleration. As a Catholic, 
he appreciated fully the bitter English hostility to Rome, and there 
can be little doubt that he desired his provinces to be peopled with 
men of his own belief, and to become in a certain sense an asylum 
for English Papists. But his primary object was commercial and 
financial success, and he well knew that nothing papistical could 
thrive under English auspices. The merest whisper of Catholic dom- 
ination would have wrecked his enterprise at the start. The Cath- 
olics were oppressed and down-trodden, and if they happened to pos- 
sess political power in any depeudency of England, there was but one 
course compatible with existence open to them — an avowed policy of 
religious toleration. There can be little doubt that such were the 
views of the first Lord Baltimore, and this opinion is confirmed by 
the government he erected, and by the subsequent history of the 

The charter drawn by Lord Baltimore was granted to his eldest 
son, Cecilius. By this charter a government was framed on feudaT 
principles, and modelled on that of the Durham Palatinate. The ob- f 
ject was to found an English barony, and the lord proprietary was . 
also invested with regal rights. The only reservation is in the annual 
payment of two Indian arrows by the lord of the province to the 
Crown, which was a mere recognition of the duty of allegiance, and 
of the title of the King to the land as lord paramount. There is a 
saving clause of the allegiance of the inhabitants, and a guarantee to 
the colonists of the rights and immunities of Englishmen. The gov- 
ernment set up was a copy of the English form, or, rather, of the 
form of English government as it ought to have been in the opinion 
of George Calvert. An Assembly of Burgesses filled the place of the 
Parliament, and the lord proprietary that of the King. The consti- 
tution was exactly such a one as a high prerogative courtier in the 
reign of James would be likely to draw if left to himself. The lord 
proprietary was to have the right to make laws, not repugnant to 
those of England, when the freeholders and Burgesses could not be 


j brought together, and he was farther to have the power of granting 
/ titles and erecting manors and courts baron. Exemption from taxa- 
tion was also granted. Much of it was merely a wild scheme to 
^nsplant decaying feudalism to the virgin soil of America. But all 
this paraphernalia of a dying system proved as worthless in the face 
of the strong tide of progress as the paper on which it was engrossed. 
Certain other provisions, however, deserve attention from their con- 
nection with the vexed question of toleration. 

In the second article occurs the usual formula, expressing, as the 
reason for the grant, " a laudable and pious zeal for extending the 
Christian religion." In the fourth article the right of advowsons 
and patronage in the Church, as well as the license to erect chapels, 
churches, etc., are granted to the lord proprietary. But these sacred 
buildings were to be "dedicated and consecrated according to the 
ecclesiastical laws of our kingdom of England." In the twenty- 
second article, which gives to the lord proprietary the right to have 
all disputed points in the charter decided in his favor, occurs this 
clause, "Provided always, that no interpretation thereof be made 
whereby God's holy and true Christian religion, or the allegiance due 
to us, our heirs and successors, may in anywise suffer by change, 
prejudice, or diminution." These three passages contain all the refei^ 
" ences to religion in the charter. The firet is purely formal, and oc- 
curs in all the colonial charters. The second puts the control of the 
Church in the hands of the lord proprietary. That the head of the 
Church in the province should be a Roman Catholic was not at vari- 
ance with English habits. Catholic noblemen in England could pre- 
sent Protestant clergymen to livings of the Established Church down 
to the reign of William and Mary. The Church thus given away in 
the charter was the Established Church of England, and no other, and 
whatever may be claimed for the English Church in the seventeenth 
century, it was certainly not marked by a wise spirit of toleration. 
The last passage goes even further, and provides for the exclusive 
maintenance of the English Church. ** God's true and holy religion," 
in 1632, was in England the religion of Charles and Laud, as distin- 
guished from that of Rome or Calvin. Other forms of Christian be- 
lief were not considered or then recognized in England by law as 
" true " or " holy." To say that this clause simply meant the religion 
of Maryland was not to be Turkish, Jewish, or pagan, is absurd. No 
sane man, or body of men, would have enacted a law against the sub- 
stitution of the Koran for the Bible, the abolition of the New Testa- 


ment, or the worship of an Indian Okee for the regalation of an Eng- 
lish colony. Under the Maryland charter there was to be but one 
Church recognized by the State, the Church of England. The relig- 
ion of Calvert and of Calvert's followers was connived at, but it was 
not safe to recognize even in a colonial charter the followers of him 
whom Englishmen generally regarded as the Antichrist Nor was it 
characteristic of Charles to extend a beneficent toleration to Protes- 
tant sects opposed to his own. In a word, there is no toleration - 
about the Maryland charter. George Calvert was too astute a man, - 
and had led too worldly a life, to risk a great enterprise by any talk - 
about toleration. He believed in toleration, because men of his creed 
were oppressed ; but that he believed in it as a great general principle, 
is to give the lie to his whole life and to the age in which he lived. 
A man who had fostered the dark intrigues of the Spanish marriage, 
and had been the close friend of Oondomar, was not likely to be the 
apostle of toleration in a bitterly intolerant age. Yet there can be 
no doubt of the fact of religious toleration in Maryland at the Cutset, 
and there were two very good reasons for its existence. The all- 
powerful lord proprietary and the principal men in Maryland were 
Catholics, and Catholicism was oppressed and hated in England. To 
oppress Catholics would have been gross folly on the part of the 
Protestant colonists, and to oppress Protestants would have been ruin 
to the proprietary. Religious toleration in Maryland must be attriF^ 
uted solely to the very commonplace law of self-interest; and that this 
theory is the correct one the subsequent history of the colony amply 

On the 29th of October, 1633, Hawkins, the searcher of vessels for 
London, administered the oath of allegiance to one hundred 
and twenty - eight persons on board the Ark at Gravesend. 
Over three hundred persons sailed in the Ark and Dove for Maryland. 
At the Isle of Wight two Jesuit priests, White and Altham, were 
smuggled on board. During the voyage twelve of the emigrants died, 
and of these only two were confessed by the Jesuits, and acknowl- 
edged themselves Catholics. Lord Baltimore, writing to his father's 
friend, Thomas Wentworth, describes the expedition as consisting of 
" his two brothers, with very near twenty other gentlemen of very 
good fashion, and three hundred laboriug men, well provided in all 
things." From the number who took the oath of allegiance, and from 
the faith of those who died, together with Lord Baltimore's own ac- 
count, it is a fair presumption that a majority of the settlers were 



Protestants. The " twenty gentlemen of good fashion " and their 
immediate followers were probably the only Catholics. In such a 
case, when a Catholic lord was the ruler of a colony lai^ely composed 
of Protestants, religious toleration was the only possible policy. Any 
other would have been madness. 
The ships reached the mouth of the Potomac in March, 1634. In 
the previous year a petition had been sent to the King by the 
Yii^inians, remonstrating against the encroachments of the 
Baltimore patent, and the question had been referred by the King to 
the Council, who had decided that Lord Baltimore should be left to 
his patent, and the Virginians to the course of law. At the mouth 
of the river they encountered the Virginians, who, in obedience to 
the King's written orders, received the new-comers kindly, and fur- 
nished necessary supplies. Here, too, they met William Clayborne, 
who spread ugly rumors among them of Indian hostility. Leonard 
Calvert, in his turn, informed Clayborne that his trading settlement 
on Kent Island was within the jurisdiction of the Baltimore patent 
Clayborne was the person most aggrieved by the Maryland charter. 
Under a general license from Charles I. to trade, he had established 
a lucrative post on Kent Island. The King, as he had an unques- 
tioned right to do under the theory of English law, granted to Lord 
Baltimore a certain tract of wild land, including Kent Island. Clay- 
borne had no legal right there except as the subject of Baltimore ; 
but, since his real injuries coincided with the fancied ones of the Vir- 
ginians generally, his claim assumed importance. Calvert planted his 
colony on a bluff near the mouth of the Potomac, and named the set- 
tlement St. Mary's. Experience had taught men now the art of col- 
onization. The emigrants were of the right sort, and Lord Balti- 
more's wise munificence, and the near neighborhood of an established 
colony, freed the Maryland settlement from the privations which 
marked the first years of the earlier colonies. The savages, more- 
over, through the influence of the Jesuits, were treated sensibly and 
honestly ; land was from the first granted to individuals in fee-sim- 
ple, and the little colony prospered. A visit from Governor Harvey 
assured Calvert that Clayborne could not hope for oflScial support, 
however well off he might be in the way of popular sympathy. 
There was, however, so strong a feeling in favor of Clayborne in Vir- 
ginia, that he was soon able to send an armed pinnace up the 
Chesapeake to defend his invaded rights at Kent Island, but 
the expedition was unfortunate. Governor Calvert, after a sharp 


encounter, captured Clayborne's pinnace, and proclaimed its owner a 
rebel. Calvert then demanded that the author of this trouble should 
be given up by Virginia ; but Harvey, who had been in diflSculties 
himself on account of his lukewarmness toward Clayborne, refused to 
comply. Clayborne, however, solved the problem in his own way, by 
going at once to England to attack his enemies in their stronghold. 
The same year an assembly of the freeholders was held in Maryland;^' 
and many laws were enacted, all of which Lord Baltimore refused to ! 

sign, on the broad ground that his colonists had no right to initiat^^ 

legislation. Among these laws was one providing that all felonies 
should be tried by English law, and there is a tradition of a bill of 
attainder against William Clayborne, who at least left a distinct mark 
upon early Maryland legislation — if not in 1635, soon after, and for 
many succeeding years. 

For the next three years the colony progressed peacefully, estab- 
lished order upon Kent Island, and was only anxious about the Indians, 
whom Clayborne had remembered to inflame by various ingenious fab- 
rications as to the character and objects of the new settlers. Immi- 
gration increased, and the Protestant interest in the colony grew with 
the population, and gained additional strength from the acquisition of 
Kent Island, whose settlers were not only hostile to the Calvert gov- 
ernment in politics, but in religion as well When the Assembly next 
was called together, they retaliated upon Lord Baltimore his 
own action of three years before. The freemen rejected the^ 
code of laws prepared by the proprietary, and prepared others them- 
selves, taking their stand on the broad ground that the initiation of 
legislation belonged to them, and to them alone. This point they 
eventually carried, and the lord proprietary was forced to content him- 
self with a free exercise of the veto power in rejecting all the Assem- 
bly's laws. They did not at this session forget to pass bills of at- 
tainder against Clayborne's followers, nor had Clayborne, on his part, 
been unmindful of them. On his arrival in England he had presented 
a petition to the King, and by adroitly working on the cupidity of 
Charles, not only came near recovering Kent Island, but almost ob- 
tained a large grant besides. After involving Lord Baltimore in a 
good deal of litigation, Clayborne was obliged, by an adverse decision 
of the Lords Commissioners of Plantations, to abandon all hopes in 
England, and therefore withdrew to Virginia, to wait for better times. 
For some years Maryland throve, undisturbed except by slight In- 
dian outbreaks. The wise policy of toleration and the liberal land 


grants increased immigration, and men of all creeds sought the peace- 
ful government of the Calverts. Religious toleration, however, not 
only induced persecuted Catholics, but ^oppressed Puritans as well, to 
come to the colony ; and English Frolistants soon wearied of liberal- 
ity when practised by men of a hated faith and less political strength 
than their own. The rapid rise of the Puritan party in England 
fanned this discontent, and prepared the way for radical changes. 
An insight into the real purposes of the proprietary is afforded by a 
letter written to Governor Calvert in 1642. Lord Baltimore 
therein directed " that no ecclesiastic in the province ought to 
expect, nor is Lord Baltimore, nor any of his officers, although they are 
Roman Catholics, obliged in conscience to allow such ecclesiastics any 
more, or other privileges, exemptions, or immunities for their persons, 
lands, or goods, than is allowed by his majesty or other officers to like 
persons in England." The reason for this course was " the depend- 
ence of the State of Maryland on the State of England, unto which 
it must, as near as may, be conformable." Lord Baltimore was a true 
son of his father, discreet and not over-zealous. He was glad to con- 
trol this policy in favor of the Catholics as long as he could ; but if 
that policy endangered the success of his colony, the Catholics had 
to go to the wall. Leonard Calvert, apparently unable to comprehend 
the course of his shrewder brother in the troubled times now begin- 
ning, sailed to England for instructions. He found Lord Balti- 
more trying hard to keep on goDd terms with both parties in 
England ; but dexterous as he was, this was an impossible task. Al- 
though anxious to preserve the favor of Parliament, he still adhered 
to the King, and was commissioned, by Charles to seize any Parlia- 
ment ships in Maryland. Unluckily, Brent, the Deputy-governor, saw 
fit to execute the order, and seized the ship of one Richard Ingle, 
who was also strongly suspected of piracy. The Puritan party was 
roused by this step, and by the course of public affairs, to active hos- 
tility. Claybome's opportunity had come, and he was not slow to 
take advantage of it. He easily obtained possession of Kent 
Island, and shortly after Ingle, eager to revenge the loss of his 
ship, broke into the Assembly convened by Governor Calvert at St. 
Mary's at the head of an armed band, and made himself master of the 
government. Leonard Calvert, just returned from England, was forced 
to fly to Virginia. Clay borne and Ingle, acting in the name of the 
Parliament, made Hill, a Virginian, governor; but their power was 
badly used, their party was weak, and their rule was of short dura- 


tion. The Catholics Trere too nnmerous and too active to submit to 
a government of force in the hands of the small Pnritan faction, while 
the majority of the Protestants seem to have remained nentral throngh- 
ont ; and Ingle, who appears to have been more of a buccaneer than 
politician, filled his ship with goods and departed. Further resistance 
by Claybornc and his followers became impossible. Calvert re- 
turned from Virginia at the head of considerable forces, took 
possession of the government, and quiet was restored. Soon after 
Calvert died — a wise, prudent man, and a good governor after 
the fashion of his family. He appointed as his successor 
Thomas Greene, who was a Catholic, a Royalist, and the head of both 
interests in the colony. He seems to have continued the judicious 
government of his predecessor, and ruled peaceably, except for the 
customary wrangling with the Assembly, this time on the matter of 
informality in the summons. The wounds of the late rebellion were 
healed by a general amnesty, from which Ingle alone was excepted. 
This desirable quiet did not long endure. The struggle in England 
was too mighty to permit the smallest colony to escape its influence. 
The triumph of Parliament compelled Lord Baltimore, always keenly 
alive to the value of his colony and his own interests, to abandon the 
policy of Catholic rule accompanied by general toleration ; but with his 
wonted shrewdness, he perceived that only by timely and genuine con- 
cessions could he hope to save his possessions and render the province 
of a Roman Catholic nobleman acceptable to the Puritan party of 
England. Acting upon this opinion, he removed Greene, and appointed 
in his stead William Stone, a Virginian, a Protestant and a strong 
supporter of the terrible Long Parliament. A Protestant secretary 
and Protestant councillors were also appointed. Stone^s commission 
forbade him to meddle with religion, and his oath of office bound 
him not to discountenance any persons who professed to believe 
in Jesus Christ, nor, in particular, any Catholic. Lord B&ltimore, 
by the appointment of Protestants, endeavored to secure from attacks 
in England his own interests in Maryland, while by the commission 
and oath he sought to protect his Catholic subjects against Protestant 
persecution. The first Assembly called by Governor Stone passed the 
now famous "toleration act." The mixture of sects in the 
colony, due to the previous policy of religions toleration, and 
the presence of a small but united body of Puritans who had been 
driven from Virginia, made such a measure an absolute necessity un- 
less the proprietary was prepared to face an immediate insurrection, 

102 " " ' * 'RIST6lt'^^0F THE 

fonnidable in itself, and irresistible when snpported, as it would be 
by the dominant party in England. The " toleration act " was proba- 
bly due to Lord Baltimore's inflnence ; but it was passed by a Protes- 
tant governor and Protestant councillors, while the lower bouse, on 
the other hand, had, apparently, a majority of Catholic members. 
Lord Baltimore was bound by his religion to persecute heretics, and 
probably thought the tenet in the abstract a good -one; but he knew 
that such a course would be fatal to any Catholic who attempted it, 
whether in England or the colonies. For the sake of self-interest and 
the protection of fellow - believers, Lord Baltimore got his Council 
and Assembly to agree not to persecute Catholics. This is what the 
famous act of toleration amounted to. Religious toleration really ex- 
ists only when the strong tolerate the weak, and not when the weak 
by fortuitous circumstances arc enabled to present the appearance of 
tolerating the strong. The largest measure of toleration can exist, 
moreover, only when Church and State are disunited ; but the terms 
of the Maryland charter provided for an Established Church, and the 
Assembly seems never to have doubted its right to interfere oppres- 
sively or otherwise in matters of conscience. 

But to whatever causes this toleration was due, it worked well in 
populating Maryland. There was an influx of immigration, composed 
in part of the Puritans driven from Virginia by Berkeley. These peo- 
ple, although refusing the oath of fidelity, settled at Providence, near 
the site of Annapolis. Not merely the Protestant but the Puritan in- 
terest was now predominant in Maryland, and in the next As- 
sembly the Puritan faction had control. They elected one of 
their leaders Speaker, and expelled a Catholic who refused to take an 
oath requiring secrecy on the part of the Burgesses. Even if most of 
the Protestant party were members of the English Church, the Puritans 
were clearly the controlling element, and the objectionable clauses were 
expunged from the oath of fidelity. Yet they passed stringent laws 
against Clayborne, and an act reciting their affection for Lord Balti- 
more, 1^0 had so vivid an idea of their power that he deemed it best /^ 
to assent to sumptuary laws of a typically Puritan character. Th<r 
Assembly appears to have acknowledged the supremacy of Parlia- 
ment, while their proprietary went so far in the same direction that 
his loyalty was doubted, and Charles XL afterward appointed Sir Wil- 
liam Davenant in his place to govern Maryland. This discreet con- 
duct on the part of Lord Baltimore served, however, as a protection 
neither to the colonists nor to the proprietary rights. 


To the next Assembly the Paritans at Providence refused to send 
delegates, evidently expecting a dissolution of the proprietary gov- 
ernment, and the consequent supremacy of their faction. Nor were 
they deceived. Such had been the prudence of the Assembly and 
of Lord Baltimore, that Maryland was not expressly named in the 
Parliamentary commission for the "reducement" of the colonies, 
but, unfortunately, Claybome was the ruling spirit among the Parlia- 
mentary commissioners, and ho was not the man to let any informali- 
ty of wording in a document stand between him and his revenge. In 
vain did Governor Stone lend assistance to the commissioners in Vir- 
ginian matters. Claybome and Richard Bennet, one of the Provi- 
dence settlers, and also a commissioner, soon gave their undivided 
attention to Maryland. They proceeded to St Mary's, required 
of the Governor and Council a test called the " engagement," 
which was thereupon subscribed to, and they also demanded that writs, 
etc., should bo issued in the name of the Commonwealth, which was 
refused. Stone was then displaced ; but at the expiration of a year 
Clayborne and Bennet, requiring the aid of his popularity, reinstated 
him. Stone, however, appears to have yielded to their terms, and to 
have definitely sided with the Puritan party. The Council was entire- 
ly composed of the Providence settlers, who were now, as they antici- 
pated, supreme. Stone, who seems to have been torn between his 
wish to serve Lord Baltimore faithfully, and his desire to stand well 
with the commissioners, soon swung back to the old proprietary rule, 
under which writs again ran with CalveiVs name upon them. He en- 
deavored t.o trim at a time when trimming was impossible. Naturally 
he suited no one, and, although seemingly a very well-meaning man, he 
got only hard knocks from one side and harsh words from the other. 
Stone's second change, however, was a decided one. Although he 
proclaimed Cromwell as Lord- Protector, he carried on the govern- 
ment exclusively in Baltimore's interest, ejected the Puritans, recalled 
the Catholic Councillors, and issued a proclamation against the in- 
habitants of Providence as factious and seditious. A flagrant attempt 
to convert a young girl to Catholicism added fuel to the 
flames. Moderation wias at an end. Claybome and Bennet, 
backed by Virginia, returned and called an Assembly, from which 
Catholics were to be excluded. In Maryland, as in England, the ex- 
treme wing of the Puritan party was now in the ascendant, and ex- 
ercised its power oppressively and relentlessly. Stone took arms and 
marched against the Puritans. A battle was fought at Providence, in 


nvhich the Paritana, who, whatever their other failings, were always 
ready in a fray, were completely victorioas. A few executions and 
some sequestrations followed, and severe laws agunst the Catholics 
were passed. The policy of the Puritans was not toleration, and they 
certainly never believed in it Nevertheless, Lord Baltimore kept his 
patent, and the Puritans did not receive in England the warm sympa- 
thy they had expected. Cromwell, now all-powerful, cared less than 
ever for useless fighting or unnecessary extremities. He listened to 
the explanations of Bennet and Mathews, said he had not intended, 
by his previous proclamation in favor of Lord Baltimore, to abridge 
their powers, and gave his decision in favor of the government of 
the commissioners. Thus the Puritan government was established in 
Maryland. But CromwelFs support was too lukewarm to be at once 
decisive. Although the commissioners of the Puritans were in nomi- 
nal as well as actual control at Providence, yet Baltimore removed 
Stone, and appointed Fendall as Governor, to whom the Catholic pop- 
ulation of St Mary's adhered. This state of dissension injured great- 
ly the prosperity of the colony, until at last Lord Baltimore 
on the one side, and Bennet and Mathews on the other, came 
I to terms, which were carried out in the province. The proprietary 
\ government was to be re-established and recognized, and a general 
Wt of oblivion and indemnity was to be passed. Fendall was con- 
tinued as (governor, and the Assembly ratified the agreement The 
results of all this turbulence were the right to carry arms, the practi- 
cal assertion of the right to make laws and lay taxes, relief from the 
oath of fealty with the obnoxious clauses, and the breakdown of the 
Catholic interest in Maryland politics. Toleration was wisely restored. 
The solid advantages were gained by the Puritan minority at the ex- 
pense of the lord proprietary. In the interregnum which ensued on 
the abdication of Richard Cromwell, the Assembly met and 
claimed supreme authority in the province, and denied their 
responsibility to any one but the sovereign in England. Fendall, a 
weak man of the agitator species, acceded to the claims of the As- 
sembly ; but Baltimore removed Fendall, and kept the power which 
the Assembly had attempted to take away. This action of the rep- 
resentative body simply shows the decided political advance made in 
Maryland, a9 in all the British dominions, under the impulse of the 
Great Rebellion. Marjland did not suffer by the Restoration, as was 
the case with her sister colonies, but gained many solid advantages. 
The factious strife of years was at last allayed, and order, peace, and 


stability of government supervened. Philip Calvert, an illegitimate 
son of the first proprietary, was governor for nearly two years, and 
was then succeeded by his nephew, Charles, the oldest son of 
Lord Baltimore, whose administration lasted for fourteen. tu\ 

(would have been difficult to find at that time better governors thaii6/ 
these Calverts proveS^QlSmselves. Moderate and just, they adminis- . 
tered the affairs of Maryland sensibly and well. Population increased,*^ 
and the immigration of Quakers and foreigners, and of the oppressed 
of all nations, was greatly stimulated by a renewal of the old policy 
of religious toleration. The prosperity of the colony was marked, and // 
its only difficulties were due principally to external causes. The over- 
growth of tobacco, and a corresponding scarcity of com, were sources 
of anxiety to both people and rulers. Vain attempts were made 
to remedy these evils by law and by agreements with Virginia ; but 
these economical problems, questions of boundary with Dutch and 
English, a few trifling troubles with the Indians, and Fendall's " sedi- 
tious practices " alone disturbed Maryland's internal tranquillity dur- 
ing the mild rule of the Calverts. The Assembly, unmolested in their 
possession of the law-making and taxing power, were quiet and rea- 
sonable, and granted the proprietary an annual allowance from the 
export duty on tobacco. 

In 1675 Charles Calvert, the Governor, became lord proprietary by 
the death of his father, Cecilius. He instituted a thorough 
revision of the laws, for which his new position and presence 
in the colony gave peculiar advantiiges, and then, having appointed 
Thomas Notly Deputy-governor, he sailed for England. His depart- 
ure was the signal for a renewal of the old dissensions from which 
the colony had been so long exempt. As had happened twenty years 
before, a minority in the colony, in sympathy with the dominant par- 
ty in England, wished to obtain control in matters of religion, and, 
backed by the home government, renew a policy of intolerance in 
their own interests. Now, of course, this minority was composed pf 
Protestants of the Established Church, instead of the Puritans, as in 
the days of the Commonwealth. The first attack came from 
the Episcopalian clei^, who complained of the bad condition 
of the Church in the province, and urged Lord Baltimore to support it 
with the power of government. This Lord Baltimore refused to do. 
The condition of the Established Church was no doubt very bad, but, 
as the lord proprietary wisely pointed out, they already had received 
some assistance from the government, and the improvement of their 


Church must rest with themselves. The old policy of toleration was 
thus maintained for the time, at least ; but there was great laxness in 
religious matters in the province, which gave opportunities for com- 
plaints on the one hand, and the rapid propagation of new sects on 
the other. Quakerism, then just beginning its career, took strong 
hold in Maryland, and was for many years a vigorous and good in- 
fluence socially and politically. But the complaints of the Episcopal 
clergy, though unsuccessful with Lord Baltimore, marked the begin- 
ning of a struggle between the Protestants of the Established Church 
on the one side, and the Quakers and Roman Catholics on the other. 
The latter appeared as the defenders of the toleration policy, which 
the former aimed to subvert and replace with the Church and State 
system then in vogue in England. Thus supported by an active par- 
ty, Lord Baltimore had nothing to fear in the province ; but in Eng- 
land the course of public affairs proved most unfavorable to his fort- 
unes. The excitement produced by the Popish plot and the 
consequent proceedings in Parliament' compelled Lord Balti- 
more to fill all the Maryland offices with Protestants, and served also 
as a signal for numerous accusations against the proprietary of par- 
tiality to his fellow - believers. These attacks Lord Baltimore easily 
repelled ; but there were others also forth-coming which seriously im- 
perilled his possessions, inasmuch as they concerned the royal coffers. 
Almost the only real grievance of the Maryland colonists was the en- 
forcement of the Navigation Act, and the levying of customs for the 
benefit of the Crown. In true colonial fashion the former was avoid- 
ed, and the latter both resisted and eluded. Lord Baltimore, ever 
watchful of his own interests and of those of his colony, had un- 
doubtedly connived at these practices. The government of Charles 
IL, touched by such conduct in its tenderest point, threatened a quo 
warranto, and the Duke of York granted to William Penn lands lying 
within the Maryland boundaries ; while a limitation of the right of suf- 
frage afforded a new and advantageous battle-ground for the discon- 
tented elements in the province, so that, although the colonists throve, 
the poor proprietary was beset with difficulties. The accession of 
James IL brought no relief to Lord Baltimore. Instead of sympathy 
from a fellow-Catholic, he met only with oppression. The grant to 
Penn, dismembering his province, was confirmed, and a fresh writ of 
quo warranto was issued against his charter. In the province itself 
the Protestants, who chafed at the spectacle of toleration, which they 
knew need not exist if the proprietary power were overthrown, at 



last rose in arms. This time, of course, members of the Established ) 
Church controlled the insurrection, and only a very subordinate part 
was taken by the Puritan element. An old supporter and friend of 
Fendall, one John Coode, appeared at the head of the " Association 
for the defence of the Protestant religion." The crisis came, as in all 
the other colonies, at the moment of the Revolution in England, and 
this gave force and strength to these provincial insurrections which, 
in Maryland at least, they could never have acquired otherwise. The 
President of the Council, Joseph, demanded an oath of fidelity from 
the Assembly, and hesitated to proclaim William and Mary. This 
gave the insurgents their opportunity, and they took arms to assert the 
rights of William and the Protestant religion, neither of which had 
been infringed. The efforts of the "Associators " were crown- 
ed with success. They called a convention, and forwarded an 
address to William, who responded by creating a royal government — 
the proprietary being excluded by the new laws against Cath 
olics — and sending out Sir Lionel Copley as Governor. The 
pecuniary benefits accruing to Lord Baltimore from his province were 
alone left untouched. Never did an insurrection and successful revo- 
lution arise so absolutely without apparent cause. The government of 
Maryland as administered by the Cal verts was, according to modem 
notions, the best, probably, at that day in existence. There was noth- 
ing in the least resembling oppression ; and although the feudal nat- 
ure of the government was an anomaly, it did not injure the people, 
and the powers of the proprietary were suffering constant diminution. 
According even to the address of the rebels, not one real grievance 
existed. The causes of the revolution in Maryland were due to two 
facts — the policy of toleration, for which the popular mind was not 
yet prepared, and the condition of affairs in England. Toleration 
was even then little more than a speculative principle, and its practice 
in Maryland gave a peculiar religious aspect to her whole history : 
indeed, religion was at the root of all the troubles. The tolerated 
party in the State was the one possessing the support of the mother 
country. They therefore found themselves the objects of toleration, 
when, if they could once obtain control, no such thing need exist. 
The result of this was that there was always a large faction in Mary- 
land hostile to the proprietary government, because it would not per- 
mit them to indulge their bigotry. Every revolution in England was 
sure to produce one in Maryland, from the existence of a class of 
men discontented in religious matters, and anxious to make their faith 


the religion of the State, and have it enforced as each. Lord Balti- 
more suffered because he wisely persevered in the only policy com- 
patible with his interests and his religion, and because James IL in- 
sisted on misgoverning England. 

The new royal government went on with little apparent change, 
except that the King^s name was substituted for that of Lord Balti- 
more in the writs. The remaining proprietary rights were protected 
by the government against the attacks of the Assembly. The Clmich 

of England was established, and taxes laid for its support. 
1694^ Other Protestant sects were practically "tolerated, but CaHibltSs 

were made the subject of persecution. The public exercise of 
their religion was forbidden, and their immigration was prevented by 
stringent laws. In furtherance of this anti-Catholic policy the capital 
was removed from St Mary's to Annapolis, the site of the old Puritan 
settlement. The period of royal government in Maryland was one of 
steady decline. The establishment of a Church of which only a mi- 
nority of the population were members, and the general taxes laid for 
its support, caused deep and ever-increasing dissatisfaction, and the 
new religious policy fostered also a dislike of the external power which 
alone made it possible. It bred a coolness and distrust in regard to 
England, and wholly alienated large classes of the community from 
the mother country. The Roman Catholics were persecuted, and 
the Quakers discountenanced, and thus the two best elements in the 
State lost all influence, and were forced into a bitter opposition. The 
course of the provincial government of Maryland sowed the seeds, and 
the establishment of the English Church prepared the soil for the 
hostile feelings which ripened so readily in 1776. The effects of the 
royal government and of its policy were soon apparent Prosperity 
declined, the tone of society was lowered, and a general spirit of re- 
sistance to the administration in the matter of the charter and of 
taxes was developed. Royal requisitions at the time of the French 
wars were made on the colony, and were sometimes complied with, 
but were much oftener sullenly refused. At last the proprietary, 

Benedict Leonard Calvert, the son of Charles, changed his 
171 s! i'6^*gi<^^> *°^> ^1^^% soon after his recognition as proprietary, 

the province devolved upon his infant heir, Charles Calvert, 
and the old government was firmly re-established. At the restora- 
tion of Lord Baltimore, fresh efforts were made in England for an 
abrogation of the charter, but, like those in the time of the royal gov- 
ernors, these attempts were defeated. The resistance of both people 


and proprietary -was crowned with success, and forty years of per- 
fect tranqaillity ensued under the restored goyemment of the bar- 
ons of Baltimore. Insignificant conflicts with the Indians, a share 
in the Carthagena expedition, and disputes with Pennsylvania and 
Virginia about boundaries, constitute Maryland's external history dar- 
ing this long period. The course of domestic affairs was hardly 
more eventful. The same features were presented in Maryland as in 
Virginia during the first half of the eighteenth century, A general 
political indifference, followed by petty and harassing quarrels be- 
tween Governor and Assembly, were the political characteristics of 
both colonies at this time. The first conflict arose about the intro- ^ 
duction of English laws. The Assembly desired them, because they 
would be beneficial to the people ; the proprietary opposed them as 
infringements on his rights. After ten years of rambling ar- 
gument and discussion, the Assembly prevailed. The next 
discussion found its origin in that ever-fruitful source of trouble, taxa- 
tion. The Assembly came to the conclusion that the duties 
levied by .the proprietary were oppressive and unjust, and they 
protested also against the Governor's power of fixing oflScial fees by 
proclamation, and of creating, without the consent of the Assembly, 
new offices and new perquisites. They finally prevailed, in a measure, 
on all these points, but the tobacco and tonni^e duties remained an 
ever-recurring annoyance. 

Maryland never displayed much readiness to join with the other 
colonies in times of difficulty and danger, and when events sug- 
gested the necessity of union, she usually manifested great indiffer- 
ence. When the French war came, Maryland held aloof; and al- 
though commissioners were sent to Albany, they refused to agree to 
the plan of union presented by Franklin, and adopted by the Con- 
vention. In the actual operations of the war Maryland had but 
a small share. She suffered from the results of Brad dock's 
defeat, and panic and terror spread through the province, yet noth- 
ing effectual was done to check the tide of Indian invasion. Fort 
Cumberland, the only Maryland outpost, had been built on the west- 
ern frontier, in a position where it served principally as a source of 
contention with Virginia. The chief exploit of the Marylanders, and 
the one certainly which will be longest held in remembrance, was per- 
formed by the commander of this fort, one Dagworthy, who had 
^ held' at one time a royal commission as captain. On this ground he 
claimed to outrank Washington, then in command on the border. 


Trouble ensued, and finally Washington went to Boston, laid the 
case before Shirley, the commander-in-chief, received his support, and 
Dagworthy was reduced to the rank of a provincial captain. 

As the war progressed the Indians ravaged the western part of the 
colony, the back settlements were driven in, and one effort after an- 
other to repel them failed. Maryland believed that all these misfort- 
unes were due to her union with the other colonies, and she thereupon 
resolved to devote all her strength to the defence of her own borders. 
Meantime Governor Sharpe got into a dispute with the Assembly about 
garrisoning Fort Cumberland. As usual, the Assembly carried their 
point ; but the capture of Fort Du Quesnc relieved Maryland from fur- 
ther anxiety, and put a stop to this particular source of contention. 

Were it not for the question of toleration, the history of Maryland 
would be one of the most uninteresting, although not the least in- 
structive, of the colonial histories. The proprietary government was 
unusually mild and well administered, even though it involved the in- 
congruity of a third person intervening between subject and sovereign. 
Nothing but the moderation of the Calverts preserved to them their 
province. Their popularity mitigated the attacks of the Assemblies, 
and their high character as rulers was a barrier against assaults in 
England. Yet the anomalous nature of the government led to con- 
stant troubles, which would otherwise have had no existence. There 
was, however, no government in America which was, on the whole, 
milder, and, except for a few years of disorder, less checkered by either 
oppression or turbulence. The very lack of incident and of disputed 
principles, although fatal to the interest of history, and indicative per- 
haps of a stagnation of the intellectual forces, is the best proof that 
the people were contented, and the government well and prudently 
administered. Apart, therefore, from religion, Maryland history is al- 
most perfectly featureless. The period of settlement was undistin- 
guished by hardships or perils ; the period of revolution was accom- 
panied with comparatively little injury, and was, on the whole, produc- 
tive of good results, while the period of political quiet preceding the 
French war was more uneventful even than in the other colonies. Yet 
in the history of this small and peaceful province can be seen unmis- 
takable indications that the very same forces were gathering there as 
in Virginia and Massachusetts. There is the same disposition on the 
part of the Assembly to assert itself and to encroach on the powers 
of the Governor. The same half-expressed desire on the part of the 
people for complete control which is manifested by the same persist- 


ent wrangling with the authorities, who excite jealousy merely from 
their being sustained by an external power of whose influence they 
are the living evidence. Despite the French war and the consequent 
losses, the people were prosperous, and frugality and industry prevailed 
to a greater extent than in Virginia, ready to heal the wounds of war. 
The spirit of resistance to taxation by England showed itself at an 
early day. The Stamp Act was bitterly attacked through the Press, 
and the opposition concentrated, although the Assembly was 
1766^ ^^^ ^° session. Thus Maryland drifts into the current of na- 
tional life. In no colony had the government been gentler or 
more peaceable ; yet geographical isolation, the struggle for existence 
in a new country, the absence of traditions, the sturdy independence 
of character and love of local self-government innate in the Eng- 
lish race, did their work as surely in Maryland as among her more 
powerful and more turbulent neighbors 


Chapter IV. 


The materials existing for a picture of Maryland in the last centary 
are, as in the case of Virginia, and for the same reasons, extrenoely mear 
gre/ Everything, however, which relates to the latter can be applied 
more or less directly to the former, and a standard of comparison is thus 
furnished which is of great assistance. Maryland differed bat slightly 
from the great State out of which her territory was originally taken. * 
The modifications were due to the more northern situation of the 
younger province, and the consequent influence of the Middle States, 
and to the causes which led to the first settlement. Maryland was 
the northern member of the group of colonies of which Virginia 
was the head, and to all of which she gave a lasting impression. In 
climate and natural conformation the two colonies were, of course, 
practically identical. There were the same fine harbors and rivers, 
the same fertile soil and boundless forests in both, and in both the 
land rose gradually from the level of the coast until the spurs of the 
Alleghauies were reached. 

The customary policy of religious toleration, and the mild and sen- 
sible government of the Calverts after the troubled period of the 
Great Rebellion, were highly favorable to the growth of population. 
In 1660 the number of inhabitants was estimated at 16,000, and 
had increased to 20,000 in 1688.' The best authorities put the pop- 

' Some months after this chapter was written Mr. Scharfs- History of Maryland 
was published. The first chapter of the second volume gives a full account of the 
condition of Maryland in 1765. Mr. Scharf has used the same materials that I 
have used in this chapter, and has drawn conclusions, in the main, the same as my 
own. But as he deals with only one colony, and I with thirteen, his work is full- 
er and more elaborate, and therefore better than mine. It is to be hoped that 
the same service may be rendered to the history of every colony which Mr. Scharf 
has rendered to that of Maryland. 

< M'Mahon*s Hist View; M*Sherry, Hist. of Maryland, p. 88 ; Neill, Terra Ma- 
rise, p. 138. 


nlation in the year 1756 at 154,000/ At the time of the Revolu- 
tion there were probahly 250,000 people in the provincei and of this 
number eighty to one hundred thousand were negroes.* 

The character of the immigration to Maryland had been excel- 
lent, if we except a large number of transported convicts. English 
gentlemen, farmers and yeomen, had followed Leonard Calvert, and 
founded the colony. Many of the early settlers came from Yii^nia,' 
and were chiefly Puritans. The mass of the population at the time 
of the Revolution were of English race, and drawn from the great 
middle classes of the mother country.* The only foreign element of 
importance were the Germans, who had built up some of the towns, 
and who, as in Virginia, were to be chiefly found upon the western 
frontier.* But, although the English race prevailed so strongly, the 
religious freedom of Maryland had attracted the victims of persecu- 
tion from all countries, and the foreign races made up in variety 
what they lacked in numbers. In the poorest quarter of Baltimore 
a large body of the luckless Acadians obtained a resting-place and 
employment as sailors ;' while in other parts of the province were to 
be found Irish, Scotch, Dutch, Bohemian, Spanish, and Italian settlers.^ 

The government of this population was upon the usual English 
model common to all the colonies, differing only in respect to the 
proprietary, who interposed between the people and the Crown. The 
shrewdly-drawn charter of George and Cecil Calvert assured nearly 
regal powers to their successors. The proprietary held the title to 

> M*Mahon ; M'Sherry, p. 116. 

* The following figures are the evidence for this estimate, and will also serve to 
show the difficulty of 09ming to any exact conclusion, and the vagueness of the 
computations in regard to population in the colonies : Neill, Terra MarisB, p. 204, 
211, 1719—65,000 whites, 26,600 blacks; 1762—107,000 whites, 46,000 blacks; 
M*Sherry, p. 116, 1761—114,000 whites, 60,000 blacks; Bumaby, p. 67, 1769^ 
68,000 whites, 82,000 blacks; Smyth, ii., 187, 1770—276,000, one-half to two- 
thirds negroes; Maryland Hist. Soc., vol. i., Allen's "Who were the early Settlers 
of Maryland ;" 1768, return to Governor Sharp, 200,000 total population. I have 
relied principally upon the return to Governor Sharp, and have calculated the pro- 
portion of negroes, and the yearly increase of the whole popuktion, from a com- 
parison of the other estimates. 

« Maryland ffist Soc., I, Allen. * Ibid. 

* Eddis, Letters from America; Smyth, ii., 187. 

* Journal of Claude BUnchard, p. 171 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 98. 

^ Maryland Hist Soc., i., Allen ; Smyth, ii., 187 ; Eddis, Letters from America ; 
Georgia Hist CoU., lY., Itin. Observations. 



all the land, ivas captain-genera], and head of the Church. All pat- 
ronage, lay and clerical, amounting to fourteen or fifteen thousand 
pounds a year — from the Governor, with a salary of fifteen hundred 
and fifty pounds, down to the naval oflScers and sheriffs — was in his 
hands. He had a negative upon all laws, and the power of pardon. 
To the proprietary belonged the quit-rents, the tobacco and tonnage 
duties, and the legal fines and forfeitures, althougb the Assembly vig- 
orously resisted this last source of emolument The net yearly in- 
come of the proprietary was over twelve thousand pounds.* To the 
Governor, who yras appointed by the proprietary, the exercise of all 
these sovereign powers was, as a rule, intrusted. The Governor rep- 
resented the proprietary in the province, summoned, prorogued, and 
dissolved the Assembly, and assented to laws. He also claimed a 
veto on legislation ; but this right was not admitted by the Burgesses. 
He made all appointments to oflSce, issued pardons, signed the war- 
rants for execution, and exercised great political influence.* The leg- 
islative body consisted of the Council and the Burgesses, who were 
divided into separate Houses in the year 1650. The Council, con- 
sisting of twelve members, was nominated by the Governor, and was 
wholly in the proprietary interest They received nine shillings a 
day for their services, and were men of wealth and position." The 
Burgesses were elected by the people. There were sixteen counties, 
eight on the eastern, and eight on the western shore, the two geo- 
graphical divisions being always carefully balanced. Each county 
was entitled to elect four Burgesses, and two were chosen in Annap- 
olis. Elections were triennial ; the suffrage, as in Virginia, was re- 
stricted by a property qualification ; and the Burgesses, " good ordinary 
householders " in the early days, were, at the time of the Revolution, 
in almost all cases the leading men of the province. They had suc- 
ceeded in wringing from the proprietary the entire law-making pow- 
er, and limited the exercise of the patronage by the regulation of fees. 
They held the purse-strings, and, as they were extremely jealous of 
their liberties, were nearly always at variance with their governors, 
carrying their opposition to such an extent as to sometimes hamper 
the government completely, and, at the time of the French war, they 

} Burnaby, pp. 67, 68 ; M*Mahon, Hist .View; Neil 1, Terra Maritt, pp. 216, 217. 
note; Eddis, Letters from America; Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., I., vii., 202; A Rela- 
tion of Maryland, Tract 

» Bumaby, pp. 67, 68 ; Neill, Terra Mari», p. 217 ; Eddis, Letters. 

> Bumaby, ibid. ; M'Mahon ; Eddis ; Kalm's Travels, ii., 28 ; Bozman. 


redaced it to a state of almost entire inaction.* In forms of govern* 
ment, and in political training, therefore, Maryland differed but little 
from her sister colonies. 

The legal system of Maryland was simpler and better than that of 
Virginia. There were connty courts holding quarterly sessions, with 
a bench of magistrates appointed by the Governor from among the 
leading gentlemen, removable at pleasure, and competent to try cases 
involving not more than forty shillings. No legal knowledge seems 
to have been required from the members of these courts, whose prin- 
cipal occupation was to mete out punishment to refractory servants.' 
The important legal business of the colony was transacted by the 
provincial court, which sat twice a year at Annapolis. The judges 
of this higher court were also appointed by the Governor, but with a 
due consideration for legal attainments. In early times, a general 
court of assize had existed, but had been dropped as useless. There 
was also a high court of appeals, and a court of chancery, both com- 
posed of the Governor, who was chancellor of the province, and his 
Council, with an appeal to the King in Council' The common and 
statute law of England prevailed when the provincial law was silent, 
although there was a chronic battle as to the statute law, despite the 
provision in the charter that no laws should be passed repugnant to 
those of the mother country.* 

The business of the provincial court was large, for the people were 
of a litigious spirit, and this operated in favor of the creation of a 
much better class of lawyers than in Virginia. Few lawyers were 
regularly called to the bar, but there were many of deserved emi- 
nence. There were, of course, where the regulations were so loose, 
many adventurers also who found a profit in legal pursuits through 
the defective land-titles which abounded in all the colonies, and which 
they bought up and defended; but this clement did not seriously 
affect the good standing of the profession, which drew to its ranks 
many men of ability and position.' 

The government was inexpensive and taxation light, the only com- 
plaint being in regard to quit-rents and Church dues, both of which 

> Burnaby, pp. 67, 68 ; Alsop ; M^Mahon, Hist View ; Eddis, Letters ; Bacon, 
Laws of Maryland; Smyth, ii., 182. 

* Sot-Weed Factor, p. 16. 

' Bamaby, pp. 68, 60 ; Eddis ; Maryland Hist. Soc. GolL, vol ii., Brown's Qdl 
Liberty ; Ealm's Travels, ii., 28 ; Bozman. 

. * M'Mahon, Hist View. * Eddis ; Geoi^^ Hist. Goll, Itin. ObsenFatioos. 


were considered high.* The exemption from taxation granted by the 
charter existed only until commerce became valuable, and in 1661 rev- 
enue was raised for the Crown by customs duties. These restrictions 
helped to cripple trade, but did not weigh with great direct severity 
upon the people.* The currency was in a wretched condition. Al- 
though a mint had been established as early as the year 1662, tobacco 
was the common medium of exchange ; and in the eighteenth century 
the loss of specie induced large emissions of paper money, which at 
once depreciated, and was of a value so uncertain that it was not re- 
ceived in the western counties. In 1733 the state of affairs was so 
bad in this respect that it was found necessary to declare tobacco a 
legal tender.' 

The principal burdens of government — an array and navy — were, as 
elsewhere, entirely wanting. There was a great love of military titles ; 
but the militia was inefficient, badly organized, and ill-armed.* 

With the exception of the legal profession, the possible occupa- 
tions in Maryland were almost wholly agricultural, and in this respect 
the example of Virginia was closely copied. In the seventeenth cen- 
tury nothing was raised for export but tobacco, and the over-cultiva- 
tion of this staple was so great that the King attempted to check it. 
Even royal interference was fruitless. Tobacco continued to be the 
great interest, and brought in its train the usual difficulties of specu- 
lation and enormous profits, alternating with over-production and low 
prices, which caused conspiracies to destroy the crop, and thus restore 
artificially the value of the staple.* Despite the injurious effects of 
the cultivation of tobacco, it remained the only solid staple until the 
close of the French war. The average annual export amounted to 
thirty thousand hogsheads, and was worth one hundred and forty thou- 
sand pounds, and at the time of the Revolution it had risen to nearly 
fifty thousand hogsheads.' Prior to that period, however, an impor- 
tant change had set in. Taught by their losses, by the low state of 
agriculture, by the exhaustion of their land, and by the example of 
their northern neighbors, the planters began to turn from tobacco to 
grain. The improvement was rapid and marked. When the contest 

» Georgia Hist. Coll., ibid., lUn. Observations. • M^Mahon's Hist View. 

■ Ibid. ; M*Sherry, p. 117 ; Georgia Hist Coll., ibid. 

• Georgia Hist Coll., ibid. 

• M*Mahon, Hist View; Alsop; M^Sherry, p. 87 ; Neill, p. 204; Gentleman's 
Magazine for 1732. 

• Smyth, ii., 140 ; Bumaby, p. 68 ; M'Sherry, p. 117. 


with England opened, Maryl^md exported six bandred thousand bush- 
els of wheat — a larger amount than that sent from the great State of 
Yiiginia. A large foreign trade in wheat and flour sprang up in Bal- 
timore, and, in addition to the other exports, which were similar to 
those of Virginia, speedily reduced the importance of tobacco/ 

The evil results of this absorption in the growth and sale of to- 
bacco were conspicuous, as in Virginia, by the dearth of manufactures. 
Fruitless efforts had been made to establish them in the seventeenth 
century ; but. at the time of the Revolution petty household indus- 
tries were all that had grown up, and the people of Maryland were 
clothed almost entirely in English stuffs, and obtained from the moth- 
er country almost every article of either luxury or peoessity which 
could not be actually grown on the plantations.' A few vineyards 
were . successfully cultivated, but were of interest chiefly as experi- 
ments.' Copper-mines were opened in the year 1742; but the only 
important industry which was not purely agricultural was the mining 
and smelting of iron. Toward the close of the colonial period this 
had become large and valuable. Many forges were then in operation, 
and the annual production had risen to twenty-five thousand tons of 
pig, and five hundred tons of bar, iron.* 

The lack of industries and the narrowly limited occupations of the 
people had, during most of the colonial period, the same depressing 
and dwarfing influence upon traffic, and all methods of trade, which 
was so marked a feature in Virginia. There was no foreign commerce 
conducted in the usual way by merchants and factors. There were a 
few shopkeepers in the towns, the familiar store-keeper in the little 
villages which sprang up at the county seats, and strolling peddlers and 
mechanics. All this was, of course, very petty and insignificant The 
commerce was wholly carried on by the planters themselves, who all 
transacted business on their own individual account On the great 
plantations, which were villages in themselves, the landlord usually 
kept a store, from which he and his servants were supplied. All the 
plantations on the rivers had their little wharves, and constituted small 
ports, where the English merchantmen touched to gather a caigo and 

1 Smyth, il, 110, 112, 128, 140, 186 ; Eddie, Grain raised bj Gecmaiis; Georgia 
Hist Soc, ibid.; Rochefoucauld, ii., 855. 

* Bnmaby, p. 68 ; K^Mahon, Hist View ; M^Sherry, p. 116 ; Magazine of Amer. 
Hist, ii., 104. » Bumaby, p. 70. 

4 M'Mahon, Hist View ; Abb6 Robm, p. 98 ; M'Shenry, p. 151. 


leave the manufactures of the Old World. Tobacco was brought down 
from the interior by mules attached to an axle run through the bogs- 
head. This isolated system of trade left the planters very much at 
the mercy of their English correspondents ; but it suited their lordly 
tastes, and they clung to it for more than a century, and successfully 
prevented any innovation.' ♦ 

Notwithstanding this conservatism, however, a change came at last 
in the period prior to the Revolution, and was due, as in the case of 
the grain exports, to the example of the Middle States. The altera- 
tion showed itself in the growth of towns, which had no existence so 
long as the rude system of solitary barter was successfully maintained. 
The first town, so called, was the little village of St. Mary's, founded 
in 1634, as the capital of the colony, by Leonard Calvert' Fifteen 
years later the Puritan exiles from Virginia founded Providence. At 
the period of the Restoration there were still no towns. St. Mary's 
had fifty or sixty houses, and Providence was a still smaller village.' 
The revolution of 1689 altered at once the fate of the two settle- 
ments. The capital was transferred to Providence, soon rechristcned 
Annapolis^ and as the town of the Puritans rose with the aid of of- 
ficial standing, the little village of the Roman Catholics declined, was 
deserted, and finally relapsed into the silence of the wilderness.* At 
the new capital a state-house, court-house, armory, and academy were 
soon built; and in the year 1708 Annapolis was made a city.* All 
this, however, was artificial at best, and the town showed no real vital- 
ity until the middle of the eighteenth century, when a small trade, 
carried on by two or three vessels, sprang up. Thus Annapolis be- 
came a centre of trade as well as fashion, grew more rapidly, and at 
the timo of the Revolution, although still small, had become one of 
the prettiest and pleasantest towns in America. The new public 
buildings were handsome, particularly the state-house, although end- 
less quarrels with the Assembly brought the (Jovemor's palace, de- 
signed on a scale of great magnificence for a province, to an untimely 
end. The unpaved streets radiated from the Province House, among 

1 Bamaby, p. 66 ; M^Mahon, Hist View ; NeQl, pp. 199, 200 ; Georgia Hist Coll., 
Itinerant Observations ; Magazine of Amer. Hist., ii., 104. 

* Relation of the Successful BeginningB in Maryland. 

' Ridgely, Annals of Annapolis ; M*Mahon*8 Hist View ; M'Sherry, p. 88 ; Geor- 
gia Hist. Ck>ll., Itin. Observations. 

^ Ridgely, Annals of Annapolis ; Neill, pp. 200, 206, 207. 

■ Ridgely, Annals of Annapolis. 


well-built houses standing in the midst of handsome gardens, with 
here and there an open field.' ' 

The ill effects of having no towns had attracted, of course, general 
notice, and an effort was made to remedy it by legislative enactment 
Owing to more efficient natural causes, the attempt met in some in- 
stances with success. Several small and thriving villages grew up at 
different points ; and one of the paper towns, called Baltimore,.in com- 
pliment to the proprietary, and founded in 1729, developed with such 
rapidity that it held, forty years later, the first place in the province, 
and was one of the half-dozen considerable towns on the continent. 
In 1774 Baltimore had a population of between fifteen and twenty 
thousand inhabitants, was the centre of an important trade in wheat 
and flour, and drew by the rivers from the back districts of Pennsyl- 
vania the products of the Middle States for exports. Commerce and 
prosperity induced the erection of new and handsome houses; but 
the rapid growth made the appearance of the town rough and crude. 
There was no pavement, and no police or street lighting uiitil after 
the Revolution ; there were pools of stagnant water in the heart of 
the town, and in autumn and spring the mud rendered the main 
streets almost impassable.' Here, however, was the source of a pros- 
perity and a form of interest and of occupation quite at variance with 
the Virginian system, and introducing a small but important clement 
of northern existence into the midst of the great planters. The im* 
mediate effect upon the colony was not striking, but it was wide- 
spread and important when the province became a State. 

Only one great interest and pursuit remain now to be considered — 
religion and the clergy. In religious matters the origin of Maryland 
led, as has already been said, to the existence of peculiar features, 
which are essential to an understanding of her social condition. 
From the time when Leonard Calvert took possession of the country 
in the name of our Saviour,' the history of Maryland consisted of 
strenuous efforts on the part of the Roman Catholic founders, backed 
by the influence of the proprietary, to maintain themselves against the 
attacks of the more numerous Protestants. As a minority they ad- 
vocated, and when in power carried out, a policy of toleration. In the 

> Smyth, ii, 185 ; Bumaby, p. 66 ; NeiU, p. 205 ; Eddis ; Penn. Hist Mag., i., Jour- 
nal of William Black. 

' Griffiths, Annals of Bait ; Smyth, IL, 186 ; Brissot, p. 865; M*Sherry, p. 112 ; 
Eddis; Rochefoucauld, ii., 129. 

f A Relation of Maiyland. 


dark days of the Conimonwealtb they fell beneath the iron hand of 
the Paritans. The return of the Stoarts brought back the old policy, 
and instead of Puritans, the Catholics had now to face a new opposi- 
tion, composed of real or pretended members of the Church of Eng- 
land. The triumph of William and Mary brought permanent suprem- 
acy to the Protestant party, and the establishment of the English 
Church. The Catholics lost all political power. They were made 
ineligible to office, disfranchised, and obliged to pay a double land- 
tax, in additioa to tithes for the support of the Church of England.' 
The day had gone by for direct religious persecution ; and although 
public worship in forms of the Roman Church was rigidly suppress- 
ed, and the powerful and rich organizations of Jesuits dissolved, there 
was no interference with private chapels built and maintained by 
wealthy planters of the proscribed faith.' Oppressed by taxes, hostile 
to the Church of England, and galled by the disfavor shown to their 
religion by government, the Catholics of Maryland were by no means 
a loyal body of subjects. Many, no doubt, like the father of Charles 
CafroU, thought seriously of retirement to the dominions of France. 
At the time of the French war rumors were rife that the Papists in- 
tended to rise, and many of them certainly rejoiced at the defeat of 
Braddock. As may be supposed, they all strongly espoused the 
patriotic side when the difficulties began with the mother country.' 
At the period of the Revolution the Catholics, who had founded the 
colony, formed a comparatively small minority of the whole pop- 
ulation, but were still a numerous and respectable body, comprising 
many of the oldest, best, and most important families in the province.* 
The Church which finally drove Catholicism to the wall was, per- 
haps, as contemptible an ecclesiastical organization as history can 
show. It had all the vices of the Virginian Church, without one of 

1 Neill, Terra Marie, p. 216 ; Eddis. 

* Magazine of Amer. Hist ii., 104 ; Smytii, IL, 180. 

> Neill, p. 216 ; Maryland Hist. Soc. Coll., i., Allen's Who were the earlv Set- 
tlers of Maryland. 

^ The authorities are very conflicting in regard to the number and quality of the 
Catholics. Official reports and official and Church writers represent them as m- 
significant in numbers, property, and position. Outside observers, on the other 
hand, speak of the Catholics as numerous and highly respectable. For the former 
view, see Hammond, in Force's Hist Tracts ; Anderson's Hist, of Col. Church, ii., 
412 ; Eddis ; Maryland ffist Soc, L, Allen's thorough and elaborate paper on the 
early settlers of Maryland. For the latter view, .see Smyth, ii., 180; Bumab;r, 
p. 69 ; Abb6 Robb, p. 101. 


its safegaards or redeeiDing qnalities. From the early days, when a 
Jamestown minister came to Kent Island, it had always maintained 
itself in a small bat safe way.* Before the revolntion of 1688, the 
Bev. John Yeo addressed to the Archbishop of Canterbury the follow- 
ing '* rude and undigested lines," to acquaint his grace *' with the de- 
plorable estate and condition of the province of Maryland for want 
of an established ministry. Here are in this province ten or twelve 
counties, and in them at least twenty thousand soules, and but three 
Protestant ministers of us that are conformable to the doctrine and 
discipline of the Church of England. Others there are (I must con- 
fess) that runne before they are sent, and pretend they are ministers 
of the Gospel], that never had a legall call or ordination to such an 
holy ofiicc ; neither (indeed) are they qualified for it, being, for the 
most part, such as never understood anything of learning, and yet 
take upon them to be dispensers of the Word, and to administer the 
Sacrament of Baptismc ; and sow seeds of division amongst the peo- 
ple, and no law provided for the suppression of such in this province. 
Society here is in great necessitie of able and learned men to con- 
fute the gainsaycrs, especially having soe many profcst enemies as the 
Popish priests and Jesuits are, who are incouraged and provided for. 
And the Quaker takes care and provides for those that are speakers 
in their conventicles ; but noe care is taken or provision made for the 
building-up Christians in the Protestant religion, by means whereof 
not only many dayly fall away either to Popery, Quakerismc, or Pha- 
naticisme, but also the Lord's day is prophaned, religion despised, and 
all notorious vices committed, so that it is become a Sodom of un- 
cleannesse and a pest-house of iniquity."" The whole matter was re- 
ferred to Lord Baltimore, who pointed to the toleration acts of 1649 
and 1676, said that provision had been made for four clergymen of 
the English Church, and declined further interference.' It was this 
Church — which had not in itself enough force or enough popular sup- 
port to cure such a condition of affairs — ^that finally took advantage of 
the strong arm of the government to overthrow the toleration policy, 
and establish itself as part of the state upon its ruins. An act was 
passed to establish the Church, fixing the marriage fees, and laying a 
tax of forty pounds of tobacco per poll for the support of ministers.* 

1' Allen, Maryland Hist Soc., i. 

* Anderson, Hist. CoL Church, gives this letter in full, ii., 895 ; see also Neill, 
Tem Mans, p. 138. * Neill, p. 188. 

'4 TroU's Laws of Col Church, p. 172 ; Georgia Hist. Coll., Itin. Observations. 


Brick parsonages were afterward built for the new pastors, and the 
worthy Braj came oat at once as commissary. He stni^led with 
every kind of difficulty; strove manfully to correct the evil living 
of the clergy ; had his powers questioned at every point, and went 
back to England, leaving only the memory of his example/ The in- 
crease of power and profit thus obtained by the Church did not im- 
prove its morals or general character. A clergyman, writing in 1714, 
describes the disregard of holy things as universal ; the Sacraments as 
neglected, and sometimes not celebrated at all ; the manners of all 
classes as dissolute; and the laws of marriage despised. Another 
says the clergy were ill paid, and had to travel great distances to per* 
form service in various parishes, and Colonel Hart, the Governor, re- 
ported that some of the ministers were a scandal to their profession.' 
The Church had no government of any kind. Presentation and in- 
duction were in the hands of the proprietary, or his representative, the 
Governor.* The commissary had merely an advisory power in regard 
to licenses, and his remonstrances were unheeded, while, as a rule, the 
Governor would not let him even enter the province.* The Assembly 
made various efEorts to remedy the evils by establishing a spiritual 
court of laymen ; but the opposition of the clergy prevented the as- 
sent of the Crown, on the ground that it would result in Presbyte- 
rianism.* The clergy, on their side, petitioned for a bishop, and the 
Bishop of London directed them to choose one of their own number 
for the position. They thereupon selected one Colebatch, upon whom 
a writ of ne exeat regno was immediately served, «o that he could not 
leave the province." Not only was the influence of the commissary, so 
valuable in Virginia, wholly lacking, but even the rude check afforded 
by the power of the Virginian vestries was wanting. In Maryland, the 
vestry, consisting of twelve members, besides the wardens, was utterly 
powerless.' A clergyman once inducted in a living could not be i^ 
moved, nor even controlled, no matter how abominable his conduct 
might be.* 

I Anderson, ii., 412 ; Neill, Terra Marise, p. 188. 

* Anderson, iii., 181, 182. 

' Burnaby, p. 69; M'Mahon, Hist View; Neill, p. 218; Eddis; Massachusetts 
Hist. Soc. €k>ll., I., viL, 202 ; Anderson, iii., 178. 

* Anderson, iii., 178, 190; Burnaby, p. 69. 

* Anderson, iii., 180 and If. ; Massachusetts Hist. Coll., ibid. 

* Anderson, iii., 182, 190. ' Burnaby, p. 70. 
' Neill, p. 217, note ; Massachusetts Hist. Soc. Coll, ibid. 


Maryland, like Virginia, had also the misfortane of not receiving 
ministers through the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. 
The patronage was badly administered, unworthy men were frequent- 
ly appointed, and the whole organization closely resembled a corrupt 
civil service/ In the year 1753 a visiting clergyman wrote to the 
Bishop of London that " the general character of the clergy is wretch- 
edly bad. It is readily confessed that there are some in the province 
whose behavior is unexceptionable and exemplary j but their number 
seems to be very smalh in comparison — they appearing here and there 
like lights shining in a dark place. It would really, my lord, make 
the ears of a sober heathen tingle to hear the stories that were told 
me by many serious persons of several clergymen in the neighbor- 
hood of the parish where I visited ; but I still hope that some abate- 
ment may be fairly made on account of the prejudices of those who 
related them.^'^ It is not easy to conceive the utter degradation of 
the mass of the Maryland clergy. Secure in their houses and glebes, 
and the tax settled by law, and collected by the sheriffs' for their 
benefit, they set decency and public opinion at defiance. They hunt- 
ed, raced horses, drank, gambled, and were the parasites and boon 
companions of the wealthy planters. A common jest was the ques- 
tion : 

" Who is a monster of the first renown?" 

" A lettered sot, a drunkard in a gown."* 

They extorted marriage fees from the poor by breaking off in the 
middle of the service, and refusing to continue until they were paid.* 
They became a by- word in the other colonies, and every itinerant cler- 
gyman who was a low fellow and a disgrace to his profession passed 
under the cant name of a " Maryland parson."' 

The first and the only beneficial result of this contemptible clergy 
was the spread of the dissenting sects. In the year 1657 the Quak- 
ers first appeared, and fell at once beneath the relentless rule of the 
Puritans then in power. In the simple language of the law, they 

^ Meadows Old Churches of Virginia, ii., 861 ; Anderson, iii., 178. 
' Meade, ibid., p. 852 ; Bishop Meade entirely concurs with this statement from 
Dr. Chandler's letter. 
» Eddis; Bumaby,p.69; M*Sherrjr,p. 117; Neill,p.2l7. 

* Keill, p. 218 ; Coke's Sermon in Baltimore, 1784, published in London ; Allen's 
Sketches in Sprague's Episcopal Clergy. 

» Kahn's Travels, 1748-'62, a, 28. 

* Grayson, Memoirs of a Life passed chiefly in Pennsylvania, p. 102. 


were " to be whipped from constable to constable, out of the piov- 
ince." Those who received them were fined and whipped. They 
held up against persecution, however, and the Restoration brought 
relief. The first general meeting was held under the auspices of 
Fox in 1672; congregations were gathered, and the Quakers in- 
creased and throve. They formed an excellent element in the pop- 
ulation, encouraged trade, and were thrifty and industrious citizens. 
In 1711 their general meetings, under the stimulus of the Established 
Church, had become so large that laws were paissed to suppress drink- 
ing at them ; and they finally grew to be a kind of annual market or 
exchange, and places of popular resort* The same spread and prog- 
ress, in a less degree, attended the other sects. Scotch-Irish Pres- 
byterians began to come toward the close of the seventeenth cen- 
tury ; at a later period Methodism met with great success and accep- 
tance ; and in every county Quakers and dissenters abounded' 

How much harm was directly caused by the pernicious example of 
the clergy cannot, of course, be exactly estimated, but there is no 
doubt that it was the origin of the religious laxity and indifference 
which prevailed extensively.* The ministers of the Church were not 
only despised, but they were bitterly disliked. Early in the century 
the Assembly did all in its power to reduce their emoluments, and 
the occasional regulations of tobacco debts led to clerical resistance, 
secret appeals to England, and additional unpopularity in conse- 
quence.* A majority of the population belonged to other sects, and 
hated the Church and clergymen for whose support they were taxed. 
The efforts to obtain a bishop formed another grievance, in which all 
laymen of every denomination shared. In all these matters the clergy 
displayed a shortrsighted indifference to public feeling. They and the 
ofScials of the proprietary were the only Tories almost in the prov- 
ince ; and their conduct, and the condition of the Established Church, 
was a principal cause of coldness toward the mother country, and 
rendered the people ready to join in any opposition to English rule.* 

1 Maryland Hist Soc. GolL, iL, Norris, Early Friends in Maryland; NeUl, Terra 
Maris, p. 138. 

* Neill, Terra MarisB, p. 219 ; Maryland Hist Soc, I, Allen. 

» Neill, pp. 218, 220; Eddis. < Anderson, iii., 185, 191. 

* Neill, p. 215; Geoi^a Hist. ColL, Itin. Observations. Eddis, who was of the 
official class, describes the clergy as fair, with no pluralities, and no altercation 
about tithes ; but the testimony on the other side is overwhelming, and all one 
way, and even Eddis admits the unpopularity of bishops. 


The stractare of Maryland society was simple, and similar to that 
of Virginia. There were the upper and middle classes, composed of 
planters, fanners, and merchants, the poor whites and f reedmcn, and 
the servile class.' This last class comprised four grades — African 
slaves, convicts, indented servants, and what were called ''free- will- 
ers."' Slavery in Virginia is the type of that which existed in all 
the colonies. It was modified and softened as one travelled north- 
ward, until it practically disappeared in New England, while in the 
southern colonies its worst features were intensified. The condition 
of the slaves deteriorated as their numbers increased. In Maryland 
the Virginian type was but little changed. The slaves were less nu- 
merous in proportion to the whole population ; but they were intro- 
duced at an early day, and increased so rapidly and to such an extent 
as to cause great anxiety, so that their importation came to an end 
before the Revolution.' The legislation in regard to them had the 
same savage character as in Virginia; but, although there was, of 
course, more or less cruelty, their condition and treatment were good, 
on the whole. They appear to have led generally an easy life, and 
to have enjoyed a good deal of individual liberty, and met with rea- 
sonable justice in the courts.* The distinction of race was careful- 
ly maintained, and marriages between low white women and negroes 
caused, in the year 1663, the passage of a law making such women 
and their children slaves.* The value of slaves in growing tobacco, 
and the luxury of their service, led to their being owned in large num- 
bers, and the whites made them their chief investments ; but slavery 
was not weH adapted to Maryland, and its evils were strongly felt, so 
that even before the Revolution public opinion began to tell upon the 

Next to the slaves, but separated from them by the insurmountable 
barrier of race, came the convicts. The forced immigration of these 
undesirable settlers began early, assumed large proportions, and con- 
tinued long after it had been stopped in the other colonies.* They 
worked on the roads in gangs, loaded with irons, and were extensive- 
ly employed in building the houses of the great planters.' The in- 
dented servants differed but little from the transported criminals, 

I NeUl, p. 211, 1768. < EdiUs. > Neill, p. 201 ; Eddis. 

* N(eill, p. 201 ; Q«oi*gia Hist Coll., Itin. Observations ; Eddis ; Rochefoucauld, 
tt.,282. » Neill, p. 203. 

* Ibid. ; RochefoQCAuld, ii., 290, S66, 867. * M'Mahon ; Eddis. 

* Rochefoucauld, L, 129 ; Memoir of Col Thomas White. 


and were, ia fact, chiefly convicts and paupers. Some of them were 
kidnapped as children in England, and sold in Maryland. They were 
regarded as little above the negroes ; were ill-treated ; punished for 
'offences by additional years of servitude ; and, if they escaped, were 
sometimes sentenced to work in the iron mines.' The women of this 
class — sometimes kidnapped, but usually of doubtful character — fared 
little better than the men, and were often forced to work in the 
fields.' The condition of the "free-willers," who sold themselves, 
was hardly superior to that of the indented servants. They were 
usually deceived in their contracts, and suffered all the miseries of 

When the term of servitude expired for these various classes of 
white servants, some raised themselves by their own exertions to a 
respectable position, and were absorbed in the middle class. Others 
returned to England. But few turned out well, and the majority re- 
mained where they found themselves, and formed the class known as 
*' poor whites."* This class was shiftless, ignorant, idle, and improvi- 
dent, as was painfully demonstrated by the poor-houses in every coun- 
ty, and with the f rcedmen, who were numerous in the province, com- 
posed the criminal portion of the community. There was less crime 
in Maryland than in Virginia, but more than in the northern colonies, 
from the fact of the existence of such a class as has just been de- 
scribed. Murder was rare, but robberies were numerous ; there were 
highwaymen in the thinly-settled counties, and all offences were pun- 
ished severely, after the fashion of the day, by hanging, stripes and 
exposure in the pillory or stocks, and moro rarely by imprisonment* 
The better sort of " poor whites," galled by the inferiority which was 
the badge of work in a slave -holding community, were constantly 
leaving the coast region and pushing out upon the frontier, where 
there was hope of improving their fortunes. This lowest class of 
freemen was at no time an important portion of society, and had no 
influence of any sort They were simply the outcome of a servile 
system of labor.* 

The upper and middle classes differed little from each other, or 
from the same classes in Virginia. The former was less compact, less 
strong in every way, less distinctively marked, and less representative 

I Neill, p. 201 and fP. ; EddiB. < Sot-Weed Factor, p. 7. 

> Eddis. « Ibid. 

B Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. SOS; Rochefoucauld, il, 281, 262. 

* Rochefoucauld, ii., S55. 


than its prototype in the older and larger colony ; and there was also 
in Maryland a small but respectable body of enterprising merchants, 
some of whom were wealthy, who ranked with the great planters, and 
increased in narobers and consideration with the development of Bal- 
timore. With these exceptions, the social system of the two higher 
and governing classes was almost identical with that of Virginia. 
Any general description, therefore, applies to all alike, if allowance is 
made for the differences of fortune which entailed modifications of 
an unessential sort, and of degree only. 

The people of Maryland were practically all planters. Their plan- 
tations were scattered through the forests, generally along the banks 
of the rivers, which formed the principal means of communication. 
Passengers for England were picked up by the passing vessel at the 
plantation wharves, and all trade was carried on by water.^ The fate 
of those who journeyed by land was much less agreeable. Tlic roads, 
which were none of the best, wound through thick woods ; rivers were 
crossed by ferries of a rude and often unsafe kind ; and the inns were 
mere stopping-places or shelters, dirty, uncomfortable, and with most 
wretched living." The method of getting from place to. place was 
usually on horseback ; but Maryland was not so absolutely deficient 
as Virginia in this respect, and post-chaises, with horses and servants, 
could be hired.' At the best, however, travelling was difficult and 
slow, and rarely indulged in except as a matter of necessity. 

The plantations, isolated and scattered, were generally large, and 
closely resembled a village. The family mansion stood in the centre, 
flanked by numerous out-buildings and storehouses, and surrounded 
by the straggling quarters of the negroes.^ The houses were com- 
monly of wood, but the parsonages were always of brick, while on the 
great plantations the manor-houses were usually of brick or stone. 
These last were large, sometimes of great size, with heavy walls. 
They covered a great deal of ground, and were, as a rule, not more 
than two stories in height The exterior was often bare and taste- 
less ; but in many instances the roof was broken with gables, and 
these, with the deeply sunk and mullioned windows, presented a very 
picturesque appearance. Near Annapolis wore many pretty villas, 
with handsome grounds and gardens. The interiors were attractive 

1 Neill, Terra Maris, p. 207. 

* Ibid., p. 208 ; Journal of Witham Marsha; Eddis. 

• Bamaby, p. 78. 

^ Abb6 Robin, p. 108 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 128 ; Neill, p. 199. 


and Bpaclous. Large, low rooms, wide panelled halls, sometimes 
bung with portraits, wainscots everywhere of rare hard woods, and 
convenient chambers, were common to all. Handsome famiture, im- 
ported from England, great open fireplaces, and sconces with candles 
made from the wax of myrtle-berries, gave an air of comfort and lax- 
ury. Pewter was in common use for the table ; but there was always 
a state service of plate, sometimes of great beauty and value.' 

Despite the isolation of their lives, and the rough state of socie- 
ty, much style was maintained. The table was spread with a rude 
abundance, and the cheapness of provisions was one efficient cause of 
the lack of economy.' Hospitality was universal and excessive. The 
usual solitude made the rare company of strangers an object of com- 
petition, and they were welcomed without much discrimination as to 
whether they were from jail or college.* 

Both men and women dressed expensively, in the latest English 
fashions, held the French barber in high estimation, had their slaves 
richly clothed, drove light and handsome carriages, kept innumerable 
horses, and lived well in every way.* The extravagant expenditure, 
unstinted hospitality, and free living did much to impair the fortunes 
of the planters. The laws show the prevalence of bankruptcy, and 
great land-owners were often obliged to fly from their English cred- 
itors, and leave their estates to fall into the hands of overseers and 
indented servants.^ 

The people were, as a rule, industrious, prosperous, shrewd, and 
penetrating, and the general morals were good ; but the wealthier 
planters were very indolent They spoke English well ; there was a 
singular uniformity of speech and absence of dialects, except in the 
mor^ remote and thinly settled counties, despite the mixture of races, 
and in manners they were frequently easy and well-bred.* 

Life in the back districts was, of course, much rougher than in 
the region near the coast On the frontier and in the thinly settled 
counties the houses were built of logs, with only two rooms, and the 

1 For this description of the great houses and their furniture, see Abb6 Robin, 
p. 108 ; Eddis ; Memoir of Colonel Thomas White ; and Magazine of Amer. Hist., 
il, 104. < Neill, p. 206 ; Bddis. 

s Neill, ibid.; Georgia Hist Soc Coll., Itin. Observations; Sot-Weed Factor, 
pp. 4, 5 ; Ridgely, Annals of Annapolis. 

< Ridgely, ibid. ; Abb6 Robin, p. 104 ; Neill, p. 205 ; Eddis. 

« Neill, p. 204; Eddis. 

' Alsop; Neill, ibid.; Eddis; Rochefoucauld, ii., 860. 


food was usually Indian meal.^ All the magnificence of the planters, 
too, had its unfinished side, and the imitation of English vices and 
follies was often of a very poor sort." 

The amusements were the same as in Virginia, and made up in 
quantity what they lacked in quality. The young men were devoted 
to fox-hunting and horse-racing, while cock-fighting and gaming were 
universally popular; and there was much card-playing and many dances, 
sometimes of a very wild kind, at the country houses. The great day 
for meeting was when the county court was in session. The little 
county town was then filled with a large crowd, who drank freely at the 
inn, gamed and betted, and wound up their day's pleasure by fighting.* 

The gayety and fashion of the colony centred at Annapolis, where 
the government officials lived and the Assembly met. Many of the 
wealthy planters and merchants had both a town and country house ; 
and in autumn the great coach, imported from London, made of ma- 
hogany, and leather topped, was brought out, the family was packed 
in, the coachman and footman mounted the high box, and they drove 
down to the capital.* Here there was no lack of amusements. There 
was a jockey club and annual races, a South River club, witUa club- 
house for fishing-parties and picnics. There were assemblies once in 
a fortnight, grand balls given by the Governor on the birthnight of the 
King and the Proprietary, and when some victory, such as Culloden, 
occniTed, there was general feasting and merry-making, illuminations 
and processions, in which all joined, with a Punch-and-Judy show for 
the populace. At all parties there was card-playing as well as dan- 
cing, and elaborate suppers. Excursions down the bay were a favorite 
diversion ; and at Christmas society assembled at the nearest country- 
scats and celebrated the season in the wonted English fashion. The 
Virginia comedians appeared in 1752 ; and in 1760 a theatre was 
opened, which, with the company, was under the especial patronage 
of the Governor. The patron saint-days of the various races were 
carefully observed, and the tutelary divinity, Saint Tamina, had a so- 
ciety, founded in her honor, which gave balls and masquerades. Mar- 
riages were always celebrated at the house, and were succeeded in- 
variably by dancing, supper, and cards.' 

> Eddis. » NeiU, p. 206 ; Sot- Weed Factor, p. Y. 

» Sot-Weed Factor, p. 15; Neill, pp. 210, 212; Journal of Witham Marehe; 
Rochefoucauld, il, 294. * Magazine of Amer. Hist., ii., 104. 

* Ridgely, Annals of Annapolis; Smyth, ii., 185; Eddis; Magazine of Amer. 
Hist, ii., 104. 



One of the Virginian commissioners wbo came with Governor 
Gooch to Annapolis in the year 1744 has left a detailed account of 
fashionable life in the little provincial capital. He and his party 
were, of course, entertained first by the Governor. Punch was 
served before dinner, which was of great plenty and variety, with 
wines of every description, and strawberries and ice -cream as rari- 
ties. This entertainment was followed by a series of dinners of a 
similar character at all the principal houses. The dinner was at an 
early hour in the afternoon, and when it was concluded the company 
sat about conversing and drinking wine until supper was served. This 
was succeeded by dancing, singing, and card-playing. The guests, 
for the most part, retired at ten o^clock ; but the dancers would keep 
it up until after midnight, when each gentleman escoited his partner 
home. This agreeable duty was sometimes varied, in the case of 
strangers, by the young lady running away and leaving her admirer 
to grope his way home; and the diarist tells of one unlucky cava- 
lier who concluded his evening's entertainment by wandering into a 
swamp.* The gayety of Annapolis, although imitated from the great 
English capital, had a primitive and colonial tinge, but was none the 
less en joyable, probably, to the pleasure-loving planters of Maryland. 

More intellectual amusements than those just described were totally 
wanting, and the planters had but little taste for them even had they 
existed. Education had never been an object of interest or solicitude. 
There was no college, and King William's academy and library, found- 
ed at Annapolis toward the close of the seventeenth century, was the 
only substitute, and probably not much better than an ordinary high- 
school." In the year 1728, free schools were established by law in 
every county ; but they were in the interest and under the evil influ- 
ence of the Church, and neither grew nor prospered.* Education 
among the mass of the people was almost entirely neglected, and two- 
thirds ol what little there was, was obtained from convicts and indent* 
ed servantSywho were regularly advertised for sale as teachers.* The 
wealthy sent their children abroad, and some of the Baltimore mer- 
chants sent their sons to Pennsylvania for an education ; but the effect 
upon them when they returned to take up their life in an uneducated 

1 Pennsylvania Hist. Mag., i., Journal of William Black. 

* Ridgcly, Annals of Annapolis ; Burnaby, p. 70 ; M^Sherry, p. 101. 

* Burnaby, p. 70 ; M*Sherry, p. 1 1 7 ; Neill, p. 188. 

* Neill, p. 212 ; Letter of Boucher, and advertisements in newspapers ; Biiraaby, 


society, and among inferiors and slaves, was often to make them only 
more haughty and intemperate/ Literary parsnits were scarcely 
known.' A press for public printing was established in 1689; an- 
other for general work in 1726 ; and the Maryland Gazette was first 
issued in 1745.* The only literature, if it may be so termed, con- 
sisted of the Sot-Weed Factor, a rough, strong satire, by " Eben Cooke, 
gentleman," an unknown author ; poetical effusions and Addisonian 
essays in the newspaper, and occasional political tracts and sermons.* 
Private libraries were rare ; and although a post to Philadelphia was 
started in 1695, communication was slow, tidings of fashions in dress 
and amusement were more eagerly sought for than books, and even 
the newspapers were but little read.* 

In spite of the life of indolence, pleasure, coarse amusements, and 
much illiteracy, the people were sensible and intelligent, with the typ- 
ical keenness of their race in all relating to public affairs. In the 
eighteenth century a large majority of the people were natives, and 
neither knew nor cared much about royalty. In the year 1722, the 
Assembly declared that whoever said they had lost any of their Eng- 
lish liberties was an ill-wisher to the country.* The independent spirit 
characteristic of a new and distant country, and of an often rough 
and adventurous life, was, in this instance, powerfully aided by the 
hostility engendered by the Church and cleigy. The great planters 
cannot, as a class, bear comparison with their Vii^inian brethren, either 
in the power they possessed or the talent they produced; but the 
whole body of the upper and middle classes was sound and vigorous, 
and when the stress of Revolution came, able leaders of the stamp of 
Charles Carroll and Samuel Chase were not lacking. 

1 Griffiths, Annals of Baltimore ; Neill, ibid. ' Neill, p. 214. 

> M*Mahon, Hist. View; M'Sherry^p. 111. 

* Neill, p. 214; Tyler's Hist of Amer. Literature. 

• M*Sherry, p. 101 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 360. * NeUl, p. 216. 


Chapter V. 


North Carolina occupies in tbe southern group of colonies much 
the same position that Rhode Island filled in the history of New Eng- 
land. The former was an offshoot, in large measure, of the great col- 
ony of Virginia ; the latter of the vigorous commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts. Both became places of refuge for the lawless, the adventu- 
rous, and the often thriftless population, which was discontented and 
restless beneath the strong and well-ordered governments of their pow- 
erful neighbors. The early history of Rhode Island is full of faction 
and turbulence ; while her southern prototype exhibited these qualities 
constantly until the Revolution, and even after the adoption of the 
Constitution occasionally broke out into disorder and license. There 
is, moreover, a marked absence of individuality in the history of North 
Carolina ; and she was sadly deficient in men of great abilities and 
commanding character, such as made Virginia illustrious. Yet it was 
owing only to the natural conformation of her coast that the founda- 
tions of a great State were not laid upon the banks of the Roanoke 
instead of by the waters of the James. To North Carolina came the 
first important English expedition sent forth by Raleigh, and 
led by Amidas and Barlow. On her shores Raleigh's succes- 
sive colonists settled, and here their author lavished his money and 
crippled his fortune. All these first English settlements in America, 
of which North Carolina was the scene, perished, and history has only 
to record their failure. Many years elapsed before the territory of 
North Carolina was again even thought of for purposes of coloniza- 
tion. As early as 1609 Virginian planters were on the Nansemond 
river, and here and there must have pushed their way into Carolina. 
In 1622 John Pory, an adventurer and traveller of the early Virginian 
type, and secretary of the colony, made his way as far south as the 
Chowan, and was favorably impressed with the country. But North 


CaroIiDA did not become the subject of royal gift until 1629, when 
Charles I. granted it to his attorney-general, Sir Robert Heath, " as 
the province of Garolana,'* and upon condition that he should colo- 
nize it within a reasonable time. The condition was not fulfilled by 
Heath, nor by Lord Maltravers, to whom Heath afterward transferred 
his patent. An abortive attempt at colonization was made in 1639, 
and a titular governor appeared in Virginia ; but this, and a number 
of conflicting claims originating in this patent, and sufficiently trouble- 
some to the proprietaries of a later time, were the only results of the 
grant of Charles I. This action on the part of the Crown, and the 
official information received, did not, however, suffice to prevent the 
Virginia Assembly lending itself to a scheme by which possession 
might be obtained of the neighboring territory, or at least substantial 
benefits realized therefrom by their constituents. With this 
object, they made grants to a trading company, which led, 
however, only to exploration and traffic. Other grants of a similar 
nature followed for the next ten years, at the expiration of 
which a company of Virginians made their way from Nanse- 
mond to Albemarle, and established a settlement there. The Vir- 
ginian Burgesses granted them lands, and promised further grants 
to all who would extend these settlements to the southward. Em- 
igration from Virginia began. Settlers, singly and in companies, 
crossed the border, and made scattered and solitary clearings within 
the wilds of North Carolina. Many of these people were mere advent- 
urers ; but some of them were of more substantial 8tuJ0f, and founded 
permanent settlements on the Chowan and elsewhere. Other eyes, 
however, as watchful as those of the Virginians, were also turned to 
the rich regions of the South. New England enterprise explored the 
American coast from one end to the other, in search of lucrative trade 
and new resting-places. After a long acquaintance with the 
leeiT N^^^^ Carolina coast, they bought land of the Indians, near the 
mouth of Cape Fear river, and settled there. For some unex- 
plained cause — possibly on account of the wild and dangerous charac^ 
ter of the scattered inhabitants, who had already drifted thither from 
Virginia, possibly from the reason which they themselves gave — the 
New England colonists abandoned their settlement and departed, leav- 
ing a written opinion of the poor character of the country expressed in 
very plain language and pinned to a post Here it was found by some 
wanderers from Barbadoes, who were of a different opinion from the 
New Englanders as to the appearance of things ; and they according- 


] J reparchased the land from the Indians and began a settlement. At 
this date, therefore, there was in North Carolina this infant 
settlement of the Barbadoes men, on the extreme south-cast- 
em point of the present State, and in the north-eastern corner the 
Virginia settlers scattered about, vith here a solitary plantation, and 
there a little group of farms, and always a restless van of adventurers 
working their way down the coast and into the interior. The older 
colonies had not as yet done much for North Carolina ; but a begin- 
ning had at least been made, and this handful of dispersed, unsocial, 
lawless^ and ungoverned men would in time have laid the foundations 
of one more English commonwealth. But this slow progress was now 
to receive a sudden impulse. Whatever rights the North Carolina 
settlers may have had in the eyes of the Virginians, who had granted 
them land, or in those of the Indians who had sold it, they had none 
recognized by the English King, who claimed to own all that vast re- 
gion. It. may be doubted whether anything was known of these early 
colonists in England ; and their existence was certainly not regarded in 
the least when Charles IL lavished their territory, and much besides, upon 
a band of his courtiers and ministers. There were many men then in 
England who had deserved well of Charles Stuart, and when he was 
on the. throne meant to have their reward. Many men were looking 
carefully about to see what they could get from the Crown, now that 
the King had his own again. Among the royal possessions were vast 
tracts of wild lands in America, where innumerable States could be 
parcelled out, and whose natural resources had all the charm of the 
unknown. Charleses followers desired money above all things, and 
here was a field not only for a speculation of immense possibilities, 
but a certainty of glory incident to the proprietors of provinces, even 
if those provinces were uninhabited forests. That the gift was held 
in high. esteem, is shown by the fact that it fell to the share of those 
who were highest in place and power under the government of the 
Restoration. Great names stand in the list of those to whom was 
granted a ten'itory covering more than eight degrees south of the 
thirty-sixth parallel, and stretching in the other direction from the 
Atlantic to the South Sea, in accordance with the charter issued in 
March, 1663. Edward, Earl of Clarendon, and George, Duke of Albe- 
marle, were the first two of the grantees, among whom may be found 
the well-known Royalist names of, Berkeley and Carteret; while near 
the end occurs the name of him who was the moving and guiding 
spirit of the whole enterprise, Lord Ashley, better known a few years 


before as Sir Anthony Cooper, and who has come down to posterity 
by his later title of the Earl of Shaftesbury. The charter had scarce- 
ly been issued when the Duke of Norfolk and Sir Robert Greenfield's 
heirs started up as claimants under the old Heath grant. Their claim 
was soon disposed of by a declaration from the King in Council that 
the Heath charter was null and void. Before this claim was quieted 
another was raised by the New Englandors, through their friends in 
England, for the lands purchased from the Indians at Cape Fear, and 
this the proprietors found it for their interest to deal with gently. 
In May the proprietaries organized, formed a joint-stock company, 
decided on the general principles of the government to be founded, 
divided their territory into two counties, Albemarle and Clarendon, 
and prepared for colonization. They first turned their attention to 
the beginnings already made in the new province. The Virginian 
settlements about the Chowan had reached a considerable impor- 
tance, having grown largely by additions from the non-conformists of 
Virginia and the badly treated sectaries of Massachusetts. Governor 
Berkeley, of Virginia, himself a proprietary, was instructed in Septem- 
ber to settle the government of the North Carolina colony. This he 
did by severing their connection with Virginia, appointing William 
Drnmmond, afterward a leader in Bacon's rebellion, Governor, insti- 
tuting an Assembly, simple forms of law, and an easy tenure of land, 
and then leaving the people to shift for themselves. The New England- 
ers were treated in a similar spirit, and were offered by the proprieta- 
ries every inducement to return to or remain under their government. 
To Sir John Yeamans, who led a company from the Barba- 
does, they said, " Make things easy for the people of New Eng- 
land ; from thence the greatest supplies are expected." This emigra- 
tion from Barbadoes was the third and most successful of the purely 
colonial attempts. The emigrants settled near the mouth of the Cape 
Fear river were joined by such New Englanders as may have remain- 
ed there, established a considerable lumber trade, and throve apace. 

But while the proprietaries were encouraging other provincials to 
settle their new territory and become their subjects, without expense 
to the rulers, they were also engaged in examining the geography of 
the region where their possessions lay. Their cupidity was excited. 
They determined to enlarge their bounds, and obtained a new charter, 
which granted to them the southern half of what is now the United 
States as far west as the Pacific. That this charter utterly disregard- 
ed the rights of Virginia on the north, and of Spain on the south, was 


a matter of small moment. Charles gave liberally when it cost him 
nothing ; and the terms of the charter, wholly in favor of the proprie- 
taries, reserved but little in the interests of either Crown or colonists. 
Fresh efforts signalized these new acquisitions. Agents were sent into 
all parts of the British dominions to solicit emigration. Yeamans was 
made Governor of the southern county. People from the Bermudas 
settled on the Pasquotank, and New Englanders came to swell the 
number of settlers on the Chowan. William Sayle explored 
the coast, and his description of the Bahamas led the proprie- 
taries to ask and obtain those islands in addition to their already vast 
territory. In the same year Samuel Stephens was appointed to suc- 
ceed Drummond as Governor of Albemarle. He was assisted by a 
council of twelve, one-half of whom he appointed, and the remainder 
were chosen by the Assembly, consisting of twelve delegates elected 
by the people. This first legislature soon met They enact- 
ed laws, chiefly with a view to populate the country, and their 
principal and most characteristic measure was to make North Caro- 
lina a safe refuge for insolvent debtors. The proprietaries assented 
to these laws, and also ordered that lands should be held in Albe- 
marle on the same tenure as in Virginia. Under these simple forms 
of government the colony progressed peaceably and rapidly ; but such 
a system was not at all in keeping with the imperial ideas of the pro- 

In the seven years which had elapsed since the first grant, the pro- 
prietaries had done little toward colonization ; but they now began to 
take more active measures for the settlement of their territory. Be- 
sides sending out an expedition, which landed in South Carolina, they 
established an elaborate system of government, known as the '* funda- 
mental constitutions.'* The leader among the proprietaries through- 
out was Shaftesbury, and the new activity now displayed by them 
was due to his restless energy. At this time, too, Shaftesbury drew 
to his service John Locke, who engaged in the task of colonizing the 
Carolinas, and who labored assiduously for some years as unofficial 
secretary to the proprietaries for the advancement of their projects. 
The first practical politician and the first philosopher of England 
united their abilities to give a system of government to Carolina, and 
the result was a simple absurdity. The "fundamental constitutions,'* 
amended somewhat by the proprietaries, and revised and corrected 
by Shaftesbury, were drafted by John Locke. For those who are 
interested in the character, career, and mental development of Locke 


or Shaftesbury these constitutions possess an interest. To the sta* 
dent of American history they are valueless, except as one explana- 
tion of the turbulence and faction which prevailed in the Carolinas. 
The system was a clumsy and complicated form of aristocratic gov- 
ernment, tricked out in the rags of feudalism. There were to be seign- 
iories, baronies, and manors, and there were to be four estates of the 
realm — proprietaries, landgraves, caciques, and commons. The chief 
power in the state was vested in a nobility which had no existence, 
and in a landed aristocracy which the future was to create. What 
remained was given to the people — a handful of rude settlers — who 
could not comprehend the system imposed upon them, and only felt 
instinctively that it was unsuitable, and probably oppressive. There 
were elaborate arrangements for the government of every division 
and subdivision of the provinces, and a scheme for a judiciary. The 
only provision showing foresight and judgment was that which guar- 
anteed religious freedom. This was due to the wisdom of Locke ; but 
it was marred by the clause which engrafted upon religious toleration 
the establishment of the English Church as that of the State. 

Delighted with their work, and having decreed that the constitu- 
tions should stand forever, the proprietaries organized under the new 
system, and sent directions to Governor Stephens to put it in force 
among the settlers on the Chowan. Naturally enough Stephens failed 
to carry out the commands of his masters, despite the most earnest 
efforts. The only result of the attempt was to shake severely the 
existing government then naturally developing in Carolina in accord- 
ance with the wishes of the people and with their conditions of life. 
The lawless spirit of the settlers was still further strengthened by 
the ill-judged efforts of the proprietaries to regulate and limit trade. 
Religion gained a foothold, it is true, soon after, but it came through 
Quaker missionaries, and not at all in conformity to the well-bred 
schemes of the proprietaries. The first results of the famous con- 
stitutions in North Carolina were the lasting injury of the existing 
government, the increase of turbulence and faction, and the establish- 
ment of a despised and persecuted faith. The great and varied abili- 
ties of Locke and Shaftesbury bore strange fruit in America. 

When Stephens died, the Assembly chose Carteret, their speaker, 

to succeed him. The new Governor had as little success as 

the old in introducing the constitutions, and utterly failed to 

preserve order. He soon departed to lay before the proprietaries the 

state of the country, and the Assembly sent their new speaker. East- 


church, after him to present their side of the story. The proprie- 
taries sensibly enough appointed Eastchnrch Governor, with a 
new set of instructions ; but they sent with him one Miller, 
who had recently been expelled from the province by the popular 
party. While Eastcburch lingered in the West Indies to woo 
and win a bride, Miller proceeded on his way, and took pos- 
session of the government in the triple capacity of president, secreta- 
ry, and collector of the customs. He found himself surrounded by 
diflScultics. The generous laws of the province had drawn thither 
large numbers of debtors and other lawless and adventurous charac- 
ters. North Carolina had already become a thorn in the side of 
Virginia, who complained bitterly of her sister colony as a refuge for 
bankrupts and criminals of every sort. There was, too, a large ele- 
ment of adventurous and trading New Englandcrs, who had little af- 
fection for the Royalist proprietaries, and carried on a large illicit 
traffic with great profit both to themselves and the tobacco planters. 
With such a people Miller rashly endeavored not only to set np a 
strong government and enforce its laws, but to carry out the Naviga- 
tion Act and collect revenue, which went largely into his own pocket. 
The Carolinians stood it longer than might have been expected. At 
last, however, they accused Miller of interfering with the freedom of 
elections, with levying taxea for his own behoof, and, worst of all, with 
interfering with their trade. This last grievance was decisive. An 
insurrection, headed by John Culpepper, an adventurer from the 
southern province, broke out, and the insurgents, getting possession 
of a large sum of money in the public treasury, made themselves mas- 
ters of the government, which they arranged to suit them- 
selves. Miller escaped; Eastcburch was refused admittance; 
and soon after Culpepper was sent to England to negotiate. Cul- 
pepper found Miller already in the field, and, though the pro- 
prietaries treated him sufiiciently well, he was arrested just as 
he was about to set sail, and tried soon after for high-treason, because 
he had illegally acted as collector and embezzled the King's money. 
Shaftesbury, who probably felt a sympathy for a successful rebel, in- 
terfered decisively, however, at this point, and Culpepper was acquit- 
ted. In the mean time the proprietaries had selected one of their 
own number, Seth Sothel, to go out as Governor and settle the affairs 
of the troubled province. Sothel was captured on his voyage by 
pirates, and the government went on for some years under tempo- 
rary rulers, who were too feeble to establish order, and sufficiently 


strong to quarrel with their subjects. At last, however, Sothel ar- 
rived. He found the colony, of course, in its normal condi- 
tion of anarchy, but he was the last man to quell it. Sothel 
was a bad specimen of the greedy, petty, and tyrannical ofSicial who 
flourished in all parts of America under the benign auspices of Charles 
and James. He robbed the people and the proprietaries alike with 
perfect indifference, and devoted himself wholly to extortion and 
theft for his own benefit. For some unexplained reason the colonists 
bore with him for five years before they rose in arms and 
drove him from power. Condemned by the Assembly, Sothel 
was stripped of the government and exiled from the province. 

Philip Ludwell, of Virginia, was appointed his successor. He 
gave out that he was prepared to redress all grievances, and 
remedy, so far as possible, the misery inflicted by his prede- 
cessor; but he resided chiefly in Virginia, and although the people 
were not oppressed as before, disorder and license continued to pre- 
vail, and the colony did not prosper. The population diminished to 
such an extent that in 1694 it was not more than half as large as 
at the time of Miller's arrival and Culpepper's insurrection. 
Ludwell, after four years of ineffective service, was succeed- 
ed by Lillington, and then by Thomas Harvey as Depdty-govembr. 
At this time, under pressure of the revolt in South Carolina, and of 
the continuing turbulence in both the northern and southern prov- 
inces, the proprietaries abandoned the constitutions framed for eter- 
nal duration, and determined to allow the colonists to govern them- 
selves according to the terms of the charter of Charles H. Thus, at 
the expiration of twenty-three years, the work of Locke and Shaftes- 
bury wholly perished. Almost ludicrous in conception, the defunct 
system had borne bitter fruit in broils and factions, which went on 
unchecked by inefficient rulers until the proprietaries, resolving that 
the best talent was needed in their possessions, sent out John Arch- 
dale — a Quaker, and one of their own number — to administer 
the government of both colonies. Archdalo was firm, judicious, 
and wise — ^the first Governor of ability the province had been blessed 
with. The southern colony chiefly occupied his attention, but he met 
with quicker success in North Carolina, where the population was 
scattered, and where many of the leading men were of his own re- 
ligious faith. Under Archdale's guidance the questions most produc- 
tive of ill-feeling, and the long-standing quarrels, were settled by the 
Assembly by suitable legislation. Order was restored, contentment 


diffused, popnlation again began to increase, and the government 
1696. ^^"^ ^^ peaceably, after Arcbdale^s departare, under Hanrey, 
Tvho had, a year previously, proved so incompetent Upon 
1699. jiarvey's death, Henderson Walker, the President of the Coun- 
cil, succeeded to the government During the five years of Walker's 
administration order and tranquillity prevailed in North Carolina, 
broken only by the depredations of the pirates. The impulse given 
by Archdale to the affairs of the colony, and the discreet poli- 
cy of his successors, came, however, to an end upon the death 
of Walker. 

Governor Johnson, of South Carolina, now in control of both the 
provinces, sent Robert Daniel to be President of the Council, rule 
in the northern province, and establish there, as he had done in the 
south, the Church of England. Daniel carried out his instructions 
faithfully. The Church was established, and taxes laid for its sup- 
port. The immediate result was a union of all the dissenters with 
those of South Carolina in opposition to the lord proprietaries, while 
the old spirit of faction and discord was again let loose. The wild, 
adventurous, and ill -educated settlers of North Carolina needed a 
strong, firm government, whose policy was to interfere as little as pos- 
sible. Instead of that, they were burdened anew with one which was 
not only weak, but meddling and aggravating. Thomas Cary 
succeeded Daniel, being appointed Deputy-governor. The pro- 
prietaries disapproved the choice, and the Council elected Glover. The 
whole province was immediately plunged into a state of anarchy, pro- 
duced by the struggles of the contending factions. Many fled to Vir- 
ginia, and at last the proprietaries removed Cary, and sent 
out Edward Byde to be Lieutenant-governor. He was well 
received by both parties, and everything proceeded quietly until the 
elections were held, when Cary, being defeated, put himself at the 
head of an open insurrection. His complete selfishness of purpose, 
and the limited amount of plunder he was able to offer, prevented his 
finding much popular support But, on the other hand, nobody came 
to the assistance of Governor Hyde — the people apparently regard- 
ing the conflict with that perfect indifference which is the offspring 
of a normal condition of political disorder and license. Governor 
Hyde, however, managed to hold Cary at bay until Governor Spots- 
wood, of Virginia, interfered with decisive effect, dispersing the rebels 
with his troops, seizing Cary, who fled to Virginia, and finally send- 
ing him a prisoner in a man-of-war to England. 


Hardly bad civil commotion began to subside, wben the unlucky 
colony was visited by the scouige of Indian war. There had been 
from time to time Indian outbreaks, and the North Carolina settlers 
were not of a disposition to conciliate the savages ; but at last the 
troubles culminated in a union of the tribes and a general 
massacre of the borderers, from which the Palatines and Swiss 
alone partially escaped by a treaty of neutrality. Assistance was re- 
ceived from South Carolina, the North Carolina militia refusing very 
generally to obey the requisition of the Governor. The South Car- 
olinians inflicted one defeat upon the Indians, and then withdrew. 
Soon after Hyde died, and was succeeded by Thomas Pollock, 
who was made President of the Council. President Pollock 
draws a black picture of the condition of affairs when he assumed the 
government, and it was but little better when the new Gov- 
ernor, Charles Eden, arrived. The Indian war still raged, and 
fresh assistance had to be asked from both South Carolina and Vir- 
ginia. Aid was readily given by both, the power of the Tuscaroras 
was broken, and in 1715 peace was finally made with the other 
tribes; but intestine struggles, Indian wars, incompetent or comipt 
officials, and depreciated currency had reduced North Carolina to a low 
point. Nothing gives a more striking impression of the difficulties 
which had beset the colony than a comparison of the numbers of the 
people in 1676 and 171 7. In the former year there were fourteen 
hundred tithable; and after forty years of immigration, settlement, 
and growth, there were only six hundred more. 

Better prospects seemed to open with the new administration. 
The laws were revised and ordered to be printed ; more bills of 
credit were issued; the establishment of the Church of England 
was confirmed; but toleration was secured, and a variety of use- 
ful measures ai police were enacted. Much of this legislation was 
bad, no doubt ; but it at least showed a settled policy on the part of 
the government. Still, the old factions were far from extinct. The 
former partisans of Cary controlled the lower house, and opposed 
every species of resistance to the Governor. In this, unfortunately, 
they were much aided by Eden's complicity with Teach, the most 
noted of the pirates who then infested the coast. The secretary of 
the provinces, one Knight, was undoubtedly an ally of the buccaneers, 
and the Governor was somewhat involved. At last Virginia 
interfered once more in the affairs of her troublesome neigh- 
bor with decisive effect. The pirate vessel was captured. Teach 


was killed in the figbt, and four of his comrades were hang. Piracy 
was at last sharply checked in North Carolina^ but the corrupt prac- 
tices of the administration did not tend to keep political factions in 
order. The leaders of the opposition headed a riot, broke into the 
secretary's office, and seized all the records of the State. The admin- 
istration proved strong enough to put down the incipient rebellion, 
and throw the ringleaders into prison ; but such affairs as these and 
that of the pirates indicate a low and rude state of society. The only 
good sign was that the government had gained sufficicuit strength to 
maintain itself. After this the colony rested, and Eden ruled 
in peace until his death. Two Presidents then governed in suc- 
cession until the arrival of the new Governorj George Burrington, who 
appears to have been a mere adventurer and common brawler. 
He held office for little more than a year, when he was re- 
moved, and his place filled by Sir Richard Evcrard. The event of 
the new administration was the settlement of the long-pend- 
ing boundary dispute with Virginia. Everard himself was an 
improvement on Burrington ; but he was far from being a good Grov- 
crnor. He paid little attention to the Assembly, did not try to rem- 
edy gross grievances, quarrelled with the Council, and effected but 
little improvement in the affairs of the colony. 

At last, despairing of success, and justly censured for their bad offi- 
cers, the proprietaries abandoned their attempt to rule a province. 
Their authority had been for some time practically at an end in 
South Carolina, and they now — with the exception of Lord Carteret — 
sold all their rights to the Crown. To abolish the clumsy form of 
proprietary government, with all its attendant evils, was a step in the 
right direction ; but the first move on the part of the Crown was a 
sadly mistaken one. Burrington, appointed previously by royal favor, 
was reinstated, and returned to the province for a much lon- 
ger period of ill-doing than on the prior occasion. He began 
his administration by a quarrel with the Council, excited general re- 
sentment by the appointment of assistant jadges, for whom he claimed 
large powers, and concluded by an open breach with the Assembly, 
who wished to inquire into the abuses connected with official fees. 
The representatives of the people, however, began at last to gather 
strength, and learn the art of parliamentary government. They im- 
peached and removed a judge, who was one of the worst of the offi- 
cials with whom the proprietaries had cursed North Carolina ; and 
they evinced in other ways an intelligent conception of the popular 


grievances. Burrington continaed in bis old courses, scandalous in 
private life, and unwise in public conduct, wbetber be aimed sincere- 
ly at reform or merely oppressed tbose wbo tbwarted him. At last 
complaints were sent to England, and Burrington soon follow- 
ed them, unwilling to await the result, although his principal 
opponent, the chief -justice, was little better than himself. 

A new Governor, Gabriel Johnston, was immediately appointed, 
and was an improvement upon his predecessor, though by no means 
an ideal officer. But he had definite views, real capacity for business, 
and held office long enough to carry out a policy. To his first Legis- 
lature he recommended the establishment of fixed salaries; to his sec- 
ond, the necessity of public education, of patronizing'rdlgion, of new 
jails and sufficient execution of penal laws, and called attention to 
the great defects in the methods of acquiring land. Wise as these 
suggestions were, the Legislature stubboraly resisted the Governor, and 
passed no bills. This was not an auspicious beginning ; but, never- 
theless, in the course of Governor Johnston's long administration of 
eighteen years many substantial advances were made. The bounda- 
ry-line was run between North and South Carolina, the laws were re- 
vised and amended, and something was done in the matters of edu- 
cation, religion, and land titles. A vain attempt was made to purify 
the bench by driving Smith, Burrington's old enemy, from office, 
but the chief-justice was protected by the Governor, and by a pack- 
ed majority of the Assembly. Johnston also tried, for his own pur- 
poses, to change the system of representation, but failed. He appear- 
ed to more advantage in his persistent though fruitless efforts to 
check the issue of a depreciated currency ; and he effected a change 
in the site of the capital after prolonged wranglings with the Assem- 
bly. During Johnston's term of office the colony had its share in 
the Spanish war, sending its quota to the West India expedition, and 
giving aid to Oglethorpe in his Florida campaigns. Johnston's rule 
was, on the whole, prudent, and it was certainly beneficial. Popula- 
tion increased rapidly, trade flourished, new lands were brought under 
cultivation, the judicial system was extended, and was enabled to 
reach the scattered and lawless inhabitants of the back counties. 
When Governor Johnston died, the Assembly took advantage of 
the lax rule of native presidents to issue more currency, al- 
though their resources were soon to be strained to the utter- 
most by the impending French war. The successor of Johnston, 
Arthur Dobbs, an Irishman, a friend of Swift, and a man of letters, 


although of slender abilities for business, fonnd himself on his arrival 
confronted by the difficulties which beset every American colony in 
the great conflict which was to have so deep an effect upon the des- 
tinies of America. North Carolina was not within immediate reach 
of the French arms, but she felt that the dangers of Virginia nearly 
concerned her, and she furnished men and money for the war in the 
neighboring colony and in the northern provinces. She had troubles 
of her own, too, with the Indians of the Carolinas, who seized the op- 
portunity to break out into open and devastating hostility, which was 
only checked after much hard fighting. 

These various forms of war put a severe strain upon the province, 
and in North Carolina, as elsewhere, led to political struggles over 
civil matters between the representatives of the people and those of 
the Crown, foreshadowing the dissensions which opened the way for 
Independence. Like his immediate predecessor. Governor Dobbs made 
a vigorous attempt to reduce the representation, and model it in such 
a manner as to secure to himself the control of legislation. After 
proceeding quite far in the execution of this project, he was checked 
and ultimately defeated by the determined resistance of the Assem- 
bly; and he was undoubtedly overawed by the riots and violence 
which broke out, as they always did in North Carolina whenever the 
spirit of opposition to the laws was aroused. The only result of this 
contest was a clause requiring special and new charters for the estab- 
lishment of counties and boroughs — a device which put many large 
fees into the pocket of the Governor, and which subsequently led to 
much ill-feeling. The next conflict was about the old question of 
the currency. Here the Governor and Council appear, as usual, in the 
best attitude, resisting further issues of depreciated paper; but in all 
other respects the administration put itself in the wrong. Affairs in 
the province were in a bad condition. The old judiciary act had been 
repealed, and there had been no courts for eight months. There had 
been much turbulence, rioting, and bloodshed. The sheriffs failed to 
collect the taxes properly, and the treasurers gave no satisfactory ac- 
counts. The Assembly endeavored to meet the difficulties by insert- 
ing a clause in the aid bill, compelling the treasurers to account, and 
by establishing courts, where the judges were to hold office dur- 
ing good behavior ; but to these measures the Governor would 
not assent. Matters went from bad to worse. It was the old story : 
no reforms, no money. Then came addresses and petitions to the 
King against the Governor, and the appointment of an agent in Eng- 


land Id tbc interest of the Assembly. The next session the Qovernor 
gave way, and assented to the court bill on condition of the subse- 
quent royal consent Dobbs, however, learned nothing from this ex- 
perience. Fees were a fruitful source of trouble among the lawless 
people of the back counties, and the extortion of Lord Granville's 
agent in regard to land patents led to riotous outbreaks. The Gov- 
ernor, instead of trying to mitigate the evil of unjust fees, created 
and exacted new and more burdensome ones. One dissension led to 
another. The Governor and the Assembly quarrelled about paper- 
money, about the position of the capital, about the appointment of 
an agent, about public accounts, and in all the passage of the aid bill 
was made the means of coercing the executive. The disal- 
lowance of the court laws did not tend to mend matters, and 
of course the full weight of popular displeasure fell upon the Govern- 
or, now loaded with the blunders of the home government as well as 
his own. A prolonged wrangle ensued between the two Houses over 
a new judiciary act, which finally passed after much amend- 
ment. The discontent with Dobbs rapidly increased. He 
even quarrelled about the appointment of a printer and the correction 
of a private bill, and complaints poured in against him in England. 
Thus beset, he asked for leave of absence ; but, before he 
could take advantage of it, died at his country-seat in North 

His successor, William Tryon, was a conspicuous example of those 
ill-starred selections for high provincial oflBce by which England did 
so much to precipitate revolution. He came to North Carolina at 
a time when the Assembly was fresh from their altercations with his 
predecessor, when riots upon one account or another were breaking 
out .everywhere, and when the Stamp Act was about to be enforced. 
He carried matters with a high hand when it was too late to be of 
any use ; and although he met with apparent success, the ultimate re- 
sult of his policy was to embitter the hostile feelings of the colonists, 
and prepare the way for separation. He first took measures to es- 
tablish the Church, and then prorogued the Assembly, to avoid legis- 
lative resistance to the Stamp Act. In this he was successful. No 
delegates were chosen, and North Carolina was not represented in the 
Stamp Act Congress. The public indignation and the general hostility 
to the measures of Parliament found utterance in meetings, addresses, 
and pamphlets; but there was no concerted action, and the colony, as 
a whole, was not involved. Thus Tryon avoided a conflict with the old 



Assembly, but he made no attempt to land the stamped paper, which 
he knew would be resisted ; and when he met his new Assem- 
bly he was able to announce to them the repeal of the hated 
law. From a general feeling of gratitude, the members voted five 
thousand pounds to build the Governor's palace, a fresh imposition 
which came at an unlucky moment The people of the back coun- 
ties — poor, ignorant, and lawless — suffered greatly from the extortion- 
ate fees exacted by all the petty officers of the courts and land-of- 
fices. Tryon showed no more real disposition than his predecessors 
to reform the fees, and the cost of the new palace, greatly exagger- 
ated by report, still further incensed the settlers of the interior. As- 
sociations were formed and known as " Regulators," who rapidly ad- 
vanced to open violence, in accordance with the prevailing habit of 
the country. Courts were closed ; unpopular attorneys and Crown 
officers treated with brutality ; and, finally, payment of taxes was re- 
fused. Rioting had grown to rebellion. Tryon, at the outset, took 
measures to repress the troubles, and arrested two of the ringleaders ; 
but he was forced to release them, and concession proved of no avail. 
Success had turned the heads of the insurgents. One violent act suc- 
ceeded another; illegal combinations extended ; to the abolition of fees 
was now added that of all debts, and terror and anarchy prevailed in 
the back counties. Husbands, the leader of the rebellion, had been 
chosen to the new Assembly, and was expelled from that body 
as soon as it came together. The Assembly also took meas- 
ures to enforce the laws by the ordinary machinery of the courts, but 
this was manifestly too feeble, and Tryon determined to bring mat- 
ters to a final decision. He called out the militia, marched into the 
most disturbed county, saved his army by his energy and activity, 
and utterly routed a force of insurgents three times as large as his 
own. Some of the insurgents were hung, others fied, and the major- 
ity took advantage of Tryon's proclamation of indemnity, and submit- 
ted. If Tryon had been as good an administrator as he was a gen- 
eral, much might now have been done to remedy the evil state into 
which North Carolina had fallen ; but he was not fit for the task, 
and only increased the hostility to the government in the body of the 

His successor, Josiah Martin, was a change for the worse. The ad- 
miration of Tryon by the usual supporters of the government 
disgusted Martin, who strove to curry favor with the Regula- 
tors and the most turbulent of the population. In this task he sue- 


ceeded so well that he led them into armed opposition to the Rev- 
olation; but he did nothing to remedy the evils, legal, financial, 
and social, which beset the province. He quarrelled bitterly with the 
Assembly, who, to defeat him, encouraged popular license and dis- 
order by advising evasion of taxes, and who themselves resisted the 
establishment of proper courts. In such a colony, and among such 
a people, lawless, and inflamed against all government, there was abun- 
dant material for the Revolution, and local quarrels fostered those 
of national significance. In Governor Tryon's time strong resolu- 
tions had passed the Assembly, denying generally the right of Eng- 
land to tax the colonies ; and when the Virginian resolutions of March, 
1773, were laid before them, they approved at once the action 
1778. ^^ ^^^^' neighbor, and appointed a Committee of Correspond- 
ence. This done, angry donlestic broils over the old subjects 
of taxes, fees, courts, and the powers of the Assembly once more su- 
pervened, and the great issues involving the fate of a continent were 
again lost sight of. But when the summons to a Congress came 
from Massachusetts, North Carolina at once responded, by 
choosing delegates in a popular convention. Colonial and 
provincial days were over, and the history of North Carolina became 
part of that of the United States. 


Chapter VI. 


North Carolina was, with perhaps the exception of the recently 
settled Georgia, the least important of the southern group of colonies. 
It was scarcely more than an uncivilized reproduction of Virginia, with 
little individuality or force of any kind. Unsettled government, tur- 
bulent, and even riotous politics, and the character of the population, 
had so weakened every bond, and rendered society so unstable and 
loose, that it had hardly an existence. 

The coast of the province was hemmed in by sand-banks, and al- 
most wholly deficient in safe and commodious harbors. Near the 
sea the soil was light and sandy, and great tracts of swamp and pine 
barrens offered neither a profitable nor a wholesome region for colo- 
nization.* In the interior the soil became richer, and the country im- 
proved greatly as it gradually rose to the summit of the southern poi^ 
tion of the Alleghany Range. 

The population at the time of the Revolution was not far from two 
hundred thousand, of which one-fourth to one-half were slaves." The 
white population was recruited from various sources. The controlling 
element was of English origin, and composed in large measure of ad- 
venturers and exiles from Virginia and the other colonies, supplement- 
ed by emigrants from the mother country. There were also French 
Huguenots, Moravians, Palatines who came under the leadership of 
Graffenried, and some Swiss and Scotch in the hill country. These 
foreign elements were aot numerous, but they were of better quality 

> Smyth, i., 234 ; ii., 94 ; Raynal, Engl. Ed., 1766 ; Williamson, ii., 174. 

' The statistics of North Carolina are so hopelessly vague that the roughest 
approximation is alone possible in any estimate : Smyth, i., 270, puts the popula- 
tion at 270,000, with one-half slaves ; Martin, ii., 896, 1770, says 150,000, and one- 
fifth slaves. 


than many of the English settlers, and, as a rule, more thrifty and 

The government nnder Lockers constitutions consisted of a general 
court) held by the chief-magistrate, and was composed of a proprieta- 
ry, two assistants, and deputies chosen by the people.' This was after- 
ward converted into the familiar form of Governor, Council, and Dep- 
uties. A qualification of property in land was required to hold office, 
and oqly freeholders could vote. This system was ingrafted on the 
constitution adopted when North Carolina became a State, and by 
which senators were obliged to own three hundred acres of land, and 
representatives one hundred, while the suffrage was restricted to free- 
holders of fifty acres.* 

For the administration of justice the province was divided into six 
districts and thirty -two counties. There were two courts — the su- 
preme court, with very large jurisdiction, which sat twice annually at 
each district town ; and the county or monthly courts, which met at 
the copnty towns, and were limited to small causes, and the punish- 
ment of slaves and servants. The bench of the county courts was of 
very inferior quality, and that of the supreme court was little better.^ 
There was also a court of chancery and admiralty, composed of the 
Governor and Council. The county courts were charged with the 
care of orphans, to save expense to the usually small estates, and both 
these and the supreme courts were required to sit once a year for 
probate and administration.* The whole legal system was very lax 
and bi^dly conducted. The terse phrase of Bancroft, '^ that there were 
no laws and no lawyers,^' describes not unfairly the administration of 
justice in North Carolina.' The laws were not even printed, but only 
read in the market-place, and the assemblies and courts met here and 
there in private houses or taverns.^ 

Revenue was raised for the Crown from quit-rents, tonnage duties, 
and duties on rum and wine ;' while the expenses of the province were 
met by simple and direct taxation of polls, tithables, free negroes and 
their intermarriage, and by an excise on spirits.* There were, in ac- 

> LawBon'B Description of North Carolina, p. 79 ; Martin, i., 288 ; Smyth, i., 162, 
216. * Martin, ii., 206. 

> Iredell, Laws of North Carolina ; Constitution of State. 

* Smyth, i., 284 ; Iredell, 1722, 1766 ; Martin, ii., 206. • Iredell, 1762. 

' Bancroft's History of the United States, ii., 164. 

' Bancroft, ibid. ; Williamson, L, 162. 

■ IredeU, 1788, 1749, 1756. • Ibid., 1728, 1784, 1788. 


cordance with the Virginian fashion, public, county, and parish levies, 
collected by the sheriJSs.' Taxation was light; but it was sedulously 
avoided by the people, who were clearly of opinion that all taxes were 
an evil, and was only enforced with the greatest difficulty ; so much 
so that the govemnicnt found it necessary to get a portion of its rev- 
enue by compelling the inhabitants to work on the roads, and keep 
the streets of- the towns clean.' 

There was an almost total absence of professions. There was no 
army and no navy, and no physicians, except a few suigeons and 
apothecaries in the towns, so unskilled that one traveller affirms that 
neither medical attendance nor nursing could be obtained in case of 
illness.* Lawyers were equally rare, except in the towns, where there 
were some attorneys of poor standing and attainments. The lack of 
lawyers is shown by the rapid rise of such a man as Henderson, who 
became a popular leader and successful man simply by his oratory at 
the bar.* 

The case was equally bad with the clergy, and the condition of re- 
ligion, and everything connected with it, strongly illustrates the ex- 
treme rudeness of society in North Carolina. The first minister was 
settled in 1703 ; the Church of England established in 1704 ; and the 
first church built in 1705.' There were no sects, says one authority,* 
and the people certainly appear to have been indifferent to theological 
doctrines. When the Quakers appeared no objection was raised, and 
the North Carolinians beguiled the hours of silent prayer by smoking, 
but they indulged in no persecution.^ To them one sect was as good 
as another, except the Established Church, to which they had a rooted 
objection, because taxes were required for its support. Twenty years 
and more after the establishment of the Church but little religious 
progress had been made. Colonel Byrd notes in his journal that, for 
*' waiit of men in holy orders," justices of the peace and members of 
the Council were empowered to marry those who would not take each 
others* word ; that marriage was a lay contract, and christening whol- 
ly a matter of chance. He also remarks that there was no church in 
Edenton ; that the efforts of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel had been failures ; and that the people paid no tribute either 

to God or Caesar.* This condition of affairs was in some degree at- 


J Iredell, 1766. • Ibid., 1788. » Smyth, 1., 98, 180. 

« Ibid., i., 98, 124, 127. > Bancroft, u., 164 ; WillUmson, i., 162. 

• Bancroft, ibid. ' Martin, 1, 166. 

^ Byrd MSS., i., 44, 46, 69, 60, 66 ; as to lack of professions and general condition 
of North Carolina, see Autobiog. of William Fei7, Mag. Am. Hiat., Nov., 1881, p. 344. 


tributable to the early political conflicts ;' but when they ceased, and 
the government turned its attention to the religions establishment, its 
efforts were marked neither by wisdom nor success. 

In the year after Colonel Byrd penned his observations, an act 
was passed for the regulation and inspection of vestries and church- 
wardens.' Ten years later, although justices of the peace were to 
marry, the preference was to be given to the minister, nnder a heavy 
penalty, and fines were exacted for marriages either within or without 
the church without a license. At the same time, Sunday laws were 
passed against swearing, work, and profanity on the Lord*s-day, and 
these, as well as the act against illicit intercourse and in regard to bas- 
tards, were directed to be read in all the churches. The vestries were 
to be encouraged by having certain powers of local government con- 
ferred upon them.' The futility of these attempts is clearly shown by 
the continual legislation from this time on in behalf of the Church.* 
Commissioners were appointed to build churches, wardens and vestries 
were appointed to encourage an orthodox clergy, pastors were to have 
glebes, money was raised to complete churches, and sheriffs were to 
compel collectors to apply and account for their taxes.' Harsh ex- 
perience even taught the supporters of the State Church the need of 
a little liberality for the benefit of religion in general. Qaakers were 
given the custody of children of their own faith, although neither 
they nor the Catholics could be appointed guardians by others.* A 
few years later, Presbyterian ministers, but no others, were given the 
right to marry by license, and all previous marriages of any kind were 
declared legal.^ Still later, all marriages by dissenters were legalized 
through the efforts of Governor Tryon. But idl legislation, wise and 
unwise, on this subject was fruitless, for the simple reason that the 
people paid no heed to it It was vain to dicect that the freeholders 
should meet and choose vestries to lay taxes for the support of 
Church and clergy, when none of the freeholders wanted them, and 
when in the back counties such laws were rendered null and void by 
obstinate inaction.' There is " very little of the Gospel in all that 
colony," says one contemporary, with more truth than kindness.' At 
the time of the Revolution, although ministers were nominally estab- 

» WilUiamson, i., 162. • Iredell, Laws, 1729. » Ibid., 1741. 

• Iredell, 1748, aud if. » Ibid., 1749, X764, 1759, 1760, 1770. 

• Iredell, 1762. ' Ibid., 1766. 
■ Ibid., 1 761 ; Williamson, ii., 1 16. 

• Hoguenot Family in Virginia, 1754, p. 844. 


Hshed in every parisb, there were actually only six of the English 
Church in the colony. The Presbyterians had as many, and the Mo- 
ravians had the same number, although their followers did not num- 
ber more than five hundred. The Quakers were the most numerous 
and extended. Besides these there were no regular denominations, but 
many itinerant preachers ; Baptists, Methodists, and New Lights wan- 
dered through the colony, and their ardent discourses seem to have 
met with general acceptance. The great majority of the people were 
dissenters, and in the frontier region without any religion at alL 
There is no evidence that this arose from any deeply grounded and 
well conceived opinions, but it is perfectly clear that the peculiar an- 
tipathy of the North Carolinians to taxes had much to do with their 
dislike of the State Church.* 

The lack of professional pursuits was not made good by any variety 
in other occupations. Everybody was either a planter or a store-keeper, 
and in the western counties a hunter. In the towns there were a few 
mechanics, shopkeepers, and innkeepers, the latter an influential and 
popular class. All branches of trade and manufacture were in the 
hands of the store -keepers, who sold everything, and supplied the 
planters and farmers.* The people were, as a rule, wholly agricultural, 
and there was a much greater variety of production than in Virginia. 
Yet the agriculture was the lowest in all the English colonies. Land 
was cleared by girdling trees, thus entailing loss of life and prop> 
erty from conflagrations and falling timber. Crops were then raised, 
until the land was exhausted; when another clearing was made and 
the old process repeated, and the fallow acres remitted to trees and 
underbrush.* In the northern counties the Virginian example, it is 
true, was followed, and tobacco was the great staple ; but in the 
southern portion rice and indigo were grown, and cotton was raised 
of good quality, while in the interior farm products were the principal 
interest.* Throughout the province lumber, tar, and turpentine were 
produced, and returned great profits to those engaged in the industry.* 
Cereal and grass crops were trifling, only sufficient for home con- 
sumption.* There were also immense herds of cattle and hogs, which 
ran wild, and could be identified only by brands, which it was made 

' Smyth, L, 102, 132; Williamson, ii., 180; Martin, ii., 896. 

« Smyth,!., 98, 99, 114. 

« Ibid., il, 94, 96 ; Martin, ii., 895 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 688. 

* Smyth, L, 84 ; ii., 97. » Martin, ii., 895. • Byrd MSS., I., 81. 


penal to alter/ There were Talaable fisheries, bat they were little 
developed, nor were the opportunities for a lucrative trade with the 
Indians improved.* 

There were no manufactures of any kind. The efforts even of the 
Assembly in this direction had not gone beyond acts to encourage 
leather tanning and grist-mills.* Every manufactured article, with- 
out exception, was imported from the mother country or from the 
other colonies.* At the Moravian towns, where whites worked, there 
were some profitable industries and good farms, but they were so few 
as hardly to form an exception. The province depended wholly on 
the North for workmen and sailors.' The same lack of enterprise char- 
acterized the commerce which was necessary to carry the products of 
the colony to the markets of the world, and this commerce was by 
no means unimportant The exports amounted to over one hundred 
thousand, and the imports to nearly two hundred thousand pounds.* 
The carrying trade was, however, in a great measure lost Much of 
it ''was engrossed by the saints of New England, who carry off a 
great deal of tobacco without troubling themselves with paying that 
impertinent duty of a penny a pound."' All foreign commerce was 
characterized by evasion of the laws of the land, and of trade as well. 
The tobacco sold was largely of a bad kind and inferior quality, and 
nothing was done to improve this or other exports by government 
inspection until after the middle of the eighteenth century.' Much 
of the commerce was diverted from the colony altogether, and found 
vent at Norfolk on the one side, and Charleston on the other.* None 
of the harbors admitted ships of large burden, yet nothing was done 
to improve cither harbors or rivers. The act establishing ports was 
repealed, because it was found that by taking away the free trade of 
North Carolina it might benefit the Virginians. Small vessels cruised 
up the navigable rivers, and picked up a cargo where they could." 
All business transactions were further hampered by the scarcity of 

> Iredell, 1716, 1748 ; Byrd MSS., i., 32 ; Smyth, 1, 144. 

* Smyth, i., 90 ; Lawson, Description, p. 86. 

« Iredell, 1727, 1748, 1768. * Uwson, p. 86. 

* Smyth, i., 216 ; Rochefoucauld, li., 13 ; Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, p. 89. 

* Smyth, U., 98; Martin, ii., 896. 
^ Byrd MSS., i., 28. 

* Ihid., p. 60 ; Iredell, 1766, 1768, 1769. 

* Williamson, ii., 174 ; Rochefoucauld, il, 7 ; Lawson, p. 86. 
><> Iredell, 1743 ; Williamson, iL, 174 ; Rochefoucauld, L, 688. 


money, which induced payments in kind, and large emissions of de- 
preciated paper currency.* 

It is needless to say that with trade in such a condition, and with 
such occupations as have been described, there were no towns in 
North Carolina. There were only three, when Independence was de- 
clared, which could by any stretch of the imagination be dignified 
by such a name. These were Wilmington, Edenton, and Newbem, 
sufficiently pretty little villages, each of which had been in turn the 
capital, and the largest of which had a population of about six hun* 
dred inhabitants.* The legislature had erected many villages into 
towns and townships, and ordered fairs to be held in them ; but they 
remained villnges still, with a few scattered houses, and, except among 
the Moravians, mere centres of resort on court and election days.* 

The structure of society was of course, as the condition of the pro* 
fessions, of religion and of trade, indicates, loose and simple. At the 
bottom of the social scale was a large body of African slaves and a 
small number of indented white servants. The slaves were in suffi- 
cient numbers to cause the usual fear-inspired and ferocious legisla- 
tion. Heavy fines were exacted from both minister and culprit for 
the intermarriage of whites with either negroes or Indians, and also 
from those who harbored runaways. Fugitives were whipped by order 
of the county courts, and could be outlawed. Slaves were forbidden 
to leave the plantations or to raise cattle.* They were not allowed to 
carry guns, and their quarters were regularly searched for concealed 
weapons.* They could receive freedom only as a reward for meritori- 
ous service. They were kept in a state of the densest and most bar- 
barous ignorance ; and when the Quakers first appeared, and they were 
admitted to the meetings, the slaves said, "They had always been kept 
in ignorance, and disregarded as people who were not to expect, any- 
thing from the Lord."* As in Virginia, however, their general treat- 
ment was said to have been mild.^ 

The condition of the indented servants, although sufficiently wretch- 
ed, was, on account of their greater resemblance to the rest of the com- 
munity, better, and their rights were, in appearauce at least, more pro- 
tected than in the northern colonies. No " imported Christian " was 

* Williamson, ii., 174. 

< Smyth, i., 84, 234 ; il, 87, 89, 93 ; Byrd MSS., i., 59 ; Martin, ii., 896 ; Roche- 
foucauld, i., 638. 

» Smyth, i., 266 ; Iredell, 1788, 1749. * Ibid., 1741. 

< Ibid., 1753. " Life of Thomas Story. ^ Rochefoucauld, i., 688. 


to be a servant without an indenture ; they had to be brought before 
the magistrate for corporal punishment, and could complain to the 
conrts if they were .wronged. If they ran away they had to serve a 
double term, and they could not marry without leave of their masters 
and the payment of lawful fees. If a woman servant gave birth to 
an illegitimate child she had to serve an additional term ; and if the 
master was the father, then she was sold by the church-wardens for 
the public benefit.' 

The bulk of the population above the servile classes consisted of 
^' poor whites " and small farmers. There were but few large planters ; 
but such as there were closely resembled those of Virginia, and were 
often agreeable and intelligent men.* These men, however, were ex- 
ceptional. The mass of the population were small land-owners of va- 
rying degrees of ignorance and poverty.* The turbulent and unset- 
tled character of the colony attracted many adventurers of the worst 
class from the other provinces, and the coast was the favorite resort 
of pirates, with whom the people had strong sympathies. North Car- 
olina was the refuge of all the slaves, criminals, and debtors who fled 
from Virginia, and found shelter and protection from her southern 
neighbors.* There was a general dread, when the boundary:line was 
run, of falling within the Virginian limits, because there some order 
and government existed. In North Carolina every one did what was 
right in his own eyes.* " A girl of good fortune and reputation," 
says one Virginian, no doubt with a good deal of wholesome preju- 
dice, ''is a thing somewhat scarce in those parts, as they have no es- 
tablished laws and very little of the Gospel."* 

From the want of commerce even the best plantations afforded lit- 
tle more than a coarse subsistence which was cheap and plenty. For 
everything else the planters ran in debt at the country store, paying 
in tobacco, and contriving to be generally a twelvemonth in arrear.^ 
This indifference to financial obligations was another effect of the want 
of trades, and in the early years caused the passage of a law to prevent 
the exportation of debtors without security being given.* The general 
feeling on the subject of debts was better reflected, however, by later 
legislation, which provided amply for the relief of debtors.* 

The genial climate, the ease of obtaining a subsistence, and the 

> Iredell, 1741. • Smyth, i., 108. » Ibid. * Byrd MSS., i., 34. 

* Ibid., i., 84, 46. * Huguenot Family in Virginift, p. 844, 1764. 

' Smyth, i., 99; Byrd MSS., i., 81. . • Iredell, 1715. • Ibid., 1762, 1778. 


cheapness and plenty of provisions, led to early marriages and lai^ 
families, and, joined with the contempt for labor inspired by the pres- 
ence of a servile class, made the men slothful and lazy to the last de- 
gree/ While the men lolled in bed or idled about the farm, most of 
the work was done by the women, who were generally superior to their 
husbands. They wove homespun to clothe the family, could handle 
a canoe, and were ready to help in planting. They managed the ac- 
counts, and the girls were brought up to the affairs of the farm.* 

Daily existence was solitary in the extreme. The farmers and plant- 
ers saw no one outside of their families and slaves, except at long in- 
tervals. There was very little intercourse, and communication between 
different parts of the province was extremely difficult' They were, 
too, almost wholly cut off from the world. A mail from Virginia and 
the North passed through the coast towns once in a month ; but noth- 
ing was done to encourage a local postal service before the year 1770.* 
Travelling was almost impossible. Roads were hardly known in the 
interior, such bridges as there were were dangerous, and the ferries 
were few, and owned by individuals. To journey from one point to 
another the traveller had to force his way through dense forests, losing 
himself constantly at night in the woods and swamps. Provisions had 
to be carried, for there were no inns, except near the coast, and those 
wretchedly bad.* 

To a people so isolated in their lives, the infrequent stranger was 
a welcome guest The poor whites had an ignorant dread of them ; 
but at the plantations the traveller stopped as a matter of course, and 
was always received with a good deal of rude state and a thoroughly 
generous hospitality.* The profound solitude in which most of the 
settlers dwelt is strongly shown by the law providing that before 
burial on a plantation the corpse, whether the deceased were bond or 
free, should be seen by two or three of the neighbors.' 

There wasj of course, great dearth of amusements. The only meet- 
ings were, on court and election days, at the court-house in the midst 
of the forest* On these occasions there was much drinking and 
gaming, and rough fighting, but the young men were, nevertheless, 
owing to narrow means and early marriages, neither dissolute nor 

» Smyth, i., 162 ; Byrd MSS., i., 56; Lawson, p. 79, 86. 
» Smyth, i., 132 ; Lawson, p. 84. » Smyth, i., 1 10. * Iredell, 1770. 

» Smyth, i., 102, 108, 112, 178, 288 ; ii., 100 ; Memoirs of E. Watson, p. 39. 
• Smyth, l, 90, 99 ; Watson, p. 39. ' Iredell, 1716. • Watson, p. Z9, 


prodigal/ The passion for gambling, the only form of excitement, 
was probably excessive, as is shown by repeated laws against it ; bat 
this seems to have been the only prevalent vice, and even that could 
find but rare opportunities.' 

There was scarcely any means of education, and no literature what- 
ever. Printing was not introduced until 1764 ; and at the time of the 
Revolution there were only two schools, lately incorporated at New- 
bcm and Edenton, in the whole province. An act of the year 1770, 
to endow Queen's College at Charlotte, was repealed by proclamation ; 
and even after the war for Independence, with the exception of a fee- 
ble academy at Hillsborough, in all relating to education North Car- 
olina was far behind the other States.' 

The existence of slavery made the whites an aristocracy in fact and 
feeling, and drew the distinction of rank strongly at the color line ; 
but among the whites themselves the democratic sentiment prevailed. 
The law was entirely hostile to the system of entail, and among the 
settlers of the back districts there was an absolute hatred for the 
word servant.* 

Society in North Carolina was that of Virginia on a much smaller 
and ruder scale, and with many of the most striking features of the 
older colony lacking. The people were very lawless, and averse to 
order and government,* although they had a keen perception of their 
own rights, as is shown by the passage of an act to secure the Habeas 
Corpus as early as the year 1716.* They fell in eagerly with the 
movement against England ; but there was also a numerous and ac- 
tive body of Tories, so that fierce internal dissensions were added to 
the miseries of civil war. 

It is not to be wondered at that such a population and such a so- 
ciety produced no great leaders in the Revolution, or that the State, 
like its northern counterpart, Rhode Island, lagged behind the others 
in the adoption of the Constitution. But it is a strong proof of the 
vigor and soundness of the English race that this lawless, apathetic 
people finally raised themselves in the scale of civilization, and built 
up a strong and prosperous State. 

« Watson, 1716 ; Lawson, p. 79. • Iredell, 1764, 1766, 1770. 

> Ibid., 1770 ; Bancroft, ii., 164 ; Martin, ii., 396 ; Memoirs of £. Watson, 1784. 
« Iredell, 1716, Act for Intestate Estates ; also 1749, 1767. 
' Crdvecoeor, p. 67 ; Smjtb, i., 132 ; Bjrd, i., 66 ; Iredell, Act against Sedition, 
etc., 1716. • Iredell, 1716. 


Chapter VII, 


As the coast of North Carolina was the scene of the first ill-starred 
attempts of Englishmen to settle in America, that of South CaroHna 
was the scene of the first failures of the French to colonize the New 
World. In the year 1562 Jean Rihault sailed with two ships, 
under the auspices of Coligny, to explore the lately discovered 
regions of the West, and find if possible a spot where the foundation 
of a Huguenot state could be laid. Ribanlt cruised along the coast 
of Florida, landing here and there, and finally left a company of thirty 
men at Beaufort, in South Carolina. The men thus left behind were 
mere adventurers, soldiers of fortune, who erected a fort, but planted 
no corn ; who hoped to find treasures of gold and silver and sud- 
den wealth, but had no capacity to found a state. They quarrelled 
among themselves while they waited helplessly for supplies from 
France. Ribault had not forgotten them ; but civil war made it im- 
possible to attend to the small and distant colony, and at last the lit- 
tle band of settlers, half-starved, and having effected nothing, built a 
pinnace, ventured out to sea, and were picked up by an English ves- 
sel. Before they could reach home, a fresh expedition had been de- 
termined upon, which sailed in 1564, commanded by Ren6 de 
Laudonniere, an old companion of Ribault On the St. John's 
River they founded their settlement, and the old story was at once 
renewed. They built a fort, and then their exertions ceased. Tbey 
longed to find masses of gold and silver, and listened eagerly to the 
flattering tales of the Indians. Their spirit was that of the time — 
a mere lust for gold — and the usual consequences followed in quick 
succession ; quarrels among themselves, treachery toward the Indians, 
and war with them, and then famine, disease, and despair. Just as 
they were losing all hope, Sir John Hawkins came in with his slavers, 
gave them relief, and sold them one of his ships. They were pre- 


paring to leave their settlement, Tvlien the long-expected fleet from 
France amved, commanded by Ribault It would have seemed that 
their trials were now at an end ; but the worst enemy of all was still 
to come in men of their own race inspired with burning religious 
hatred. Within a week after the arrival of the fleet, Pedro McQendez 
appeared at the mouth of the river Mary, with Spanish ships and 
Spanish soldiers, to rid the New World of the heretic Huguenots. 
Part of the French fleet got to sea, part was at Fort Caroline. Me- 
ncndez marched overland to the fort and captured it ; and then came 
treachery and massacre of pnsoners, the arrival of the French ships 
and more treachery, and more butchery of helpless prisoners, and the 
extirpation of the Huguenots. The Spaniards followed up this bloody 
beginning by founding St. Augustine, the first permanent settlement 
of Europeans in the United States. France took no steps to avenge 
this awful wrong; but in 1568 retribution came at the hands 
of Dominique de Gourgues, a gallant adventurer of the type 
peculiar to the time, who landed in Florida, surprised the forts, and 
put the Spaniards to the sword with as little mercy as they had shown 
to hisr countrymen. The Spanish settlement survived the shock, and 
struggled on, but never grew nor spread, nor came to any good. The 
French efforts, however, had failed ; and South Carolina, the scene of 
their first attempt, relapsed into the wilderness, where savages wander- 
ed undisturbed. A century passed away before a new trial was made ; 
but this time the men were of another nation, one which had learned 
the art of colonization, and had the natural talent of ruling races, for 
founding new states, and governing distant provinces. 

South Carolina was part of the magnificent territory which Charles 
II. gave to Clarendon and Albemarle and others of his followers, and 
for which Shaftesbury and Locke devised their famous constitution 
— a monument of brilliant and futile theorizing. Several years pass- 
ed away after the charter was granted before the lord proprietors did 
anything more than contemplate the orders of nobility, and the elab- 
orate system of government which Locke had produced. In 1667 
W^illiam Sayle visited the coast, and his report was so favorable that 
he was sent out two yeara later prepared to colonize. After landing 
at Beaufort, Sayle made his way northward, and finally fixed 
his head-quarters on the Ashley river, while a settlement was 
also started lower down, at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper 
rivers — the point to which the capital was subsequently removed, and 
where the present city of Charleston was founded. Sayle soon 


died, and was succeeded by Sir John Yeamans, one of the landgraves 
of the Locke constitutions, who ruled over the languishing colony for 
about four years, with little profit to anybody except himself. Re- 
turning to the Barbadoes in the year 1674, he was succeeded 
by Joseph West, the commercial agent of the proprietaries^ 
under whose direction the first Assembly was called, and government 
organized on the practical English model, and without the least re- 
gard to Lockers beautiful and symmetrical scheme. The early settlers 
were, as usual, for the most part broken-down adventurers and other 
vicious characters from London, with a sprinkling of sturdy colonists 
from the North, and some restless dissenters from the mother coun- 
try. The first necessity was order, and this West maintained, playing 
the same part in South Carolina that Dale had played in Virginia, 
and giving the settlement the opportunity to strike root and acquire 
permanence. West was a shrewd, competent man, not over-scrupu- 
lous, but able to govern with a strong hand the disorderly elements 
about him. He found the colony loaded with debt, and embroiled 
with the proprietaries ; but he held it together, and steei^ed through 
all difficulties, moving the capital, and fighting an Indian war, which 
ho made profitable as well as successful by selling the prisoners into 
slavery. This rather savage traffic, and his leaning to the dissenters, 
brought West into disfavor with the proprietaries, and he was removed, 
to be replaced by Joseph Morcton, who called another Parlia- 
ment or Assembly, which led to an outbreak of factious con- 
tention, and to the usurpation of all legislative power by the people 
of Charleston. This new Parliament passed a law to prevent the 
prosecution of foreign debts, which so enraged the proprietaries that 
they removed Moreton, and West again came in for a brief term. 
The disorderly elements in South Carolina had now fairly got beyond 
control, and the factious turbulence which ensued would have wreck- 
ed the colony if it had not been for the years of comparative quiet 
during West's first term. Besides the troubles arising from the char- 
acter of the early settlers, there were many special subjects of. con- 
flict. The religious controversies of the mother country were trans- 
ferred to the colony, the only difference being that the dissenters, who 
were crushed at home, were here in a majority. The Cavalier and 
Church party was favored by the proprietaries, and endeavored to 
keep all government in their own hands, but they were overborne by 
the dissenters, upon whom West appears to have leaned. Uis removal 
and the supremacy of the Church party only led to still fiercer con- 


diets. Another subject of quarrel was the distribution of representa* 
tion, which resulted finally in a seizure of all legislative power by the 
Charleston district, and the practical disfranchisement of the other 
counties. Still another struggle was caused by the immigration of 
the Huguenots — people of most excellent character, who settled chief- 
ly in Craven county. The English settlers refused to give them rep- 
resentation or political rights, and excluded them for a time from the 
Assembly, although their cause was strenuously supported by the pro- 
prietaries. Still another source of trouble was found in the pirates 
infesting the coasts, and making their head- quarters at Charleston, 
where they were popular and well received because they spent money, 
and brought thither their ill-gotten gains 16 enrich the colony. These 
buccaneers preyed on Spanish commerce and Spanish possessions; 
the Spaniards retaliated naturally on the English settlements, and the 
South Carolinians prepared to invade Florida, and were only stopped 
by the proprietaries, who had no wish to see their enterprise bring 
on a war between Spain and England. Attempts were made by the 
government to stop this piracy; but the pirates were acquitted by the 
Charleston courts, and nothing effectual was done until the general 
suppression of piracy under William III. In the midst of all these 
contentions, it is almost impossible to describe the parties. Each 
new quarrel begot new factions. The body of the dissenters was 
sound, and so were those who supported the government; but between 
these was the old vicious and dissolute band of adventurers of broken 
fortunes, active and unscnipulous, opposed to every form of govern- 
ment and order, in league with the pirates, and ready to take advan- 
tage of every fresh conflict. In all this confusion governors came 
and went with extraordinary rapidity. West, Moreton, Kyle, Quarry, 
and Colleton succeeded each other within two years. Colleton 
called a Parliament on his accession, which resisted him to the 
utmost, and sent laws for approval to the proprietaries, which were in- 
dignantly rejected. At last parties began to crystallize into that of 
the proprietaries, and that of opposition to their rule. The latter pre- 
vailed. In the next Parliament they attacked Colleton more fiercely 
than ever, and he unwisely undertook to declare martial law. Open 
revolt followed. Sothel, fresh from his exploits in North Carolina, 
whence he had been driven out, appeared on the scene and usurped 
the government in his quality of Palatine. He resorted at 
once to his old extortion, corruption, and oppression, lost the 
confidence of the people, over whom he tyrannized, and was finally 



obliged to withdraw and hide in Albemarle by the orders of the pro- 
prietaries, now thoroughly alive to his character. He was succeeded 
by Philip Ludwell, of Virginia, the first general Governor of both 
Carolinas. Lndwell proved incompetent, unable to deal with piracy, 
or to resist the popular factions, and was soon removed to make 
room for Thomas Smith, one of the leading planters. Smith 
did little better than his predecessor, but his term of office was 
marked by the introduction of rice — the future source of wealth to 
the colony — and by the abandonment of the attempt to establish the 
''Grand Model" of Locke. The Parliament became an Assembly, 
and Lockers fine scheme was at an end. Faction and disorder did not 
cease, however, and on Smithes representation that only a proprietor 
would suffice as Governor, Joseph Archdalc, a Quaker, and one of the 
proprietaries, came out and assumed the government 

The party of the proprietaries, including the officials and the 
Churchmen, and the opposition, comprising the dissenters and the 
great majority of the settlers, were now fairly face to face, and feel- 
ing ran very high, particularly in regard to the quit-rents, which the 
colonists refused to pay, and which were a standing grievance and 
a constant cause of conflicts whenever efforts were made to collect 
them. Archdale was a good appointment He was not only 
a dissenter, and therefore in sympathy with the colonist^ but 
he was a wise, firm, and prudent man, and a good administrator. He 
came with almost unlimited powers, and set to work at once to allay 
dissensions. He conciliated the Assembly ; appointed popular men 
to the Council ; remitted arrears of quit-rents ; examined grievances 
of all sorts ; made peace with the Indians ; and provided for the de- 
fence of the colony. So well did he do his work during his year of 
office, that his successor, Joseph Blake, a nephew of the great 
admiral, was able to rule peaceably in South Carolina for the 
rest of the century, and the colony gained a much needed breathing 
space, and time to give attention to the development of the great ma- 
terial resources of the country. Even under Blake, however, the col- 
onists refused, in Assembly, to accept laws sent out by the proprieta- 
ries ; but they adopted a liberal policy toward the French refugees, 
who were secured in their lands and rights, and rapidly assimilated 
with the English, as the Huguenots did in all the colonies. At the 
same time, religious toleration was assured to all Christians except 

As the century opened, Blake^s peaceful rule was closed by his 


death, and James Moore became Governor. Political strife bad already 
been renewed. The lower House, under the lead of Nicholas 
Trott, an active and capable popular leader, denied to the 
Governor and Council the right of appointing public officers, and re- 
fused to recognize their appointees. Governor Moore, a needy: and 
adventurous man who had pushed himself into office, found this quar- 
rel on his hands, and matters were further complicated by the in- 
structions of Lord Granville, the Palatine, to introduce the Establish- 
ed Church. To this the Assembly, controlled by the dissenters, op- 
posed a stubborn and successful resistance, and they now regretted 
that they had voted a salary to the rector of thb Episcopal church. 
Moore, however, was bent on gain, not on religion. He renewed the 
infamous traffic in Indian slaves, and attempted to pass a bill giving 
to himself the control of the Indian trade. This last measure was 
defeated in Assembly, and Moore then threw himself into party poli- 
tics. Nicholas Trott was brought over to government by the office 
of attorney-general, and the elections were carried for the Grovernor 
by force and fraud. The rupture between Spain and England, how- 
ever, led Moore to turn his attention to another quarter. He invaded 
Florida ; but the expedition failed, and the only result was a crippling 
public debt. An Indian war in which Moore next engaged was more 
successful, and the tribes were routed and beaten. 

Moore had hardly concluded his Indian war when Sir Nathaniel 
Johnson came out as his successor. The new Governor was 
an incompetent and narrow-minded man, devoted to the in- 
terests of the Church. Backed by the officials, among whorai Moore 
and Trott were prominent, Johnson procured the passage of an act 
excluding those who denied the authority of the Bible from the As- 
sembly, and followed it up by. another law excluding «11 who were 
not members of the Church of England. The struggle now broke 
forth with bitterness ; the proprietaries, appealed to by both sides, un- 
der the lead of Gmnville, and, despite the remonstrance of Archdalc, 
supported the Governor, who, encouraged by his success, proceeded 
to take steps for building churches, providing pastors, and for the 
appointment of a commission of his own choosing to govern the 
Church. The dissenters, numbering two- thirds of the population, 
now went further, and took an appeal to the House of Lords. There 
the exclusion of the dissenters and the act relating to religious wor- 
ship were condemned, and the Queen ordered steps to be taken for 
the revocation of the charter. While these matters were pending, 


Johnson had an opportunity to show himself in a better light by sac- 
cessfully repulsing a French attack npon Charleston. As the 
legal proceedings were dragging along, Lord Granville died, 
and was succeeded by Lord Craven, a moderate man, who sent out 
Colonel Edward Tynte as Governor, with instructions so con- 
ciliatory that it seemed as if all differences might be healed ; 
but quiet had hardly been restored when Tynte unfortunately died, 
and a factious and comipt contest, resulting in the election of 
Robert Gibbes, took place for the governorship. Gibbes was, 
however, soon displaced by the proprietaries, who appointed Charles 
Craven, brother of Lord Craven, and a representative of his 
moderate policy, Governor; and under his temperate and 
wise rule the colony obtained a brief respite from domestic discord. 
His administration was marked, however, by two Indian wars — one 
with the Tuscaroras for the relief of North Carolina, and the other 
and more extensive one with the Yamasees. In both conflicts Cra- 
ven was successful, and the South Carolinians, officera and men, be- 
haved well ; but the result was to sink the province still fur- 
ther in debt, and render the paper currency and the raising of 
money to meet obligations burning political questions. Craven re- 
turned to England after a term of four years, leaving Robert 
Daniel in chaise of the province until Robert Johnson, the 
son of the former Governor of that name, arrived. 

Johnson, unlike his father, was a good governor and competent man, 
besides possessing a genuine popularity. But no amount of popular- 
ity or ability was sufficient to enable any man to deal successfully with 
public affairs in South Carolina. The proprietary government was 
radically vicious, and, whether its policy was good or bad, it invariably 
ran counter to the wishes of the people, and there was nothing to sus- 
tain it against the effects of popular resentment The attempts of the 
proprietaries to force the Established Church upon the colonists had 
produced a conflict of which the effects were still felt, and Johnson 
came out hampered with instructions which seemed designed to take 
all power from the Assembly. Not only did the King disapprove the 
law for duty on imports, the only means of sinking the debt, but the 
proprietaries asserted the right to repeal all acts of the Assembly, and 
did repeal two, generally and rightly esteemed of great value— one to 
regulate elections, and another to regulate the Indian trade. This sort 
of interference was bad enough ; but there were other and worse griev- 
ances. The proprietaries encouraged every oppressive scheme put for- 


ward by the officials, and strove to wring all possible revenue from the 
province, while they utterly neglected it, and declined to give any help 
in the Indian wars. This refusal to aid the colonists led them, of course, 
to appeal to the Crown, and to look more and more to the strong arm 
of the sovereign for shelter and protection. Lands won by the sword 
from the Indians, and thrown open to immigrants by the Assembly, were 
torn from the settlers, and distributed in baronies and seigniories among 
the proprietors. Another and still worse grievance was to be found 
in the condition of the courts. Nicholas Trott, the popular leader of 
early days, Jiad improved his opportunities since he had been bought 
by the attorney-generalship, and had risen to be chief-justice. By vis- 
iting England, he had obtained the confidence of the proprietaries, and 
control of their secretary, to whom the management of affairs was very 
largely intrusted. In this way Trott became not only chief-justice, 
judge of the vice-admiralty court, president of the Council, and some- 
times acting Governor, but he was mainly instrumental in causing the 
ruinous policy of the proprietaries. 

With matters in this unpromising state, new burdens were thrust 
upon South Carolina. The pirates, who in earlier days had been wel- 
comed in Charleston, now ruined the commerce of the city, and sapped 
the prosperity of the province. They were under the lead of Teach, 
" Black Beard," whose head-quarters were in North Carolina. Deter- 
mined efforts were at last necessary to suppress them ; and Johnson 
opened the way by sending out Rhett, who captured one of the prin- 
cipal captains, and by going himself in pursuit of another, who was 
finally seized after a bloody fight. Johnson's personal bravery and 
enterprise won for him great popularity ; but these expeditions pro- 
duced more debt, and required more taxation, and thus led to renewed 
and bitter controversy. The conduct of Trott, too, had finally become 
so outrageous, and the courts so bad, that the Assembly and the bar sent 
out one of the Council, Francis Yonge, to remonstrate with the pro- 
prietaries. Their appeal was treated with contempt, and brought fresh 
instructions to Johnson to enforce the rights and prerogatives of the 
proprietaries, and persist in every way in the policy already entered 

This brought matters to a point where a trifle would cause revolu- 
tion, and the needed impulse came from the dread of a Spanish' inva- 
sion. Johnson wished to put the province in a state of defence, and 
asked for money. The Assembly pointed to the tax on imports, and 
were told it was repealed. They declared they would enforce it, and 


Tfott swore tbat tbe courts would sustain those who refused to pay. 
The members of the Assembly now formed associations ; and when 
Johnson called out the militia, to prepare for the Spaniards, the 
troops revolted and went over to the Assembly, which became a con- 
vention, elected James Moore Governor, chose a council, and made 
themselves masters of the government The practical deposi- 
tion of Johnson, although he tried to maintain himself for a 
year or two longer, and even ventured a futile attack on Charleston, at- 
tracted, of course, immediate attention in England, where the action of 
the colonists harmonized too well with the general policy of convert- 
ing all charter and proprietary provinces into royal governments, to 
be neglected. The Crown interfered; the old inquiry of Anne's time 
was revived, and the attorney-genei-al ordered to look into the affairs 
of the proprietaries and find out the extent of their misgovemment 
If everything else failed, the omission of the proprietaries to spread 
the Christian religion among the savages could be used for the abro- 
gation of the charter, of which proselyting the heathen was nominally, 
at least, a main object. In the mean time. Sir Francis Nichol- 
son was sent out as provisional Grovemor. Whatever Nichol- 
son's faults and failings had been in the other colonies over which he 
had ralcd — and they had been neither few nor small — he was now, at 
least, a roan of wide experience in colonial administration, and he had 
learned many lessons. Coming, as he did, backed with the vast power 
of the Crown, to South Carolina, which had hardly known anything 
but turbulence and insurrection, he was received with joy, and with a 
deep sense of relief. The proprietary party sank out of sight, and 
Nicholson, free to turn his attention to the general good, treated suc- 
cessfully with the Indians, did much for religion and the Church, and 
even made vigorous exertions to introduce some sort of public edu- 
cation. He withdrew after a term of four years, leaving the govern- 
ment in the hands of Arthur Middlcton. On this change the proprie- 
tary party immediately revived in the province, and in England claim- 
ed the right first of appointing a Governor, although the writ of quo 
warranto was actually issued, and then demanded the right of consent- 
ing to the nomination by the Crown. Fortunately for South Caro- 
lina, the contest was too unequal and too hopeless to be per- 
sisted in, and after a year or two the proprietaries sold both 
Carolinas to the Crown. 

In pursuance of Nicholson's policy, Sir Alexander Cumming was 
sent to push further negotiations with the Indians. Returning to 


England, he brought six chiefs with him, who went back in the fol- 
lowing year with Sir Robert Johnson, the first royal Gover- 
nor, who, now that he was freed from his duty to the proprie- 
taries, was received with enthusiasm by the colonists, whose favor he 
had retained through all his conflicts with them. With the estab- 
lishment of the royal government the whole condition of public af- 
fairs in South Carolina underwent a marked change. The form of 
government was that common in the royal provinces — of Governor, 
Council, and Assembly — the fonner appointed, the latter elected. But 
the sense of perifianencc and security given by the Crown was the chief 
advantage derived by the colony. The restraint upon the exportation 
of rice was removed, and a bounty on hemp allowed by Parliament. 
The arrears of quit-rents were remitted, and the bills of credit were 
continued. Cannons were sent out, forts were built, troops were sta- 
tioned at Charleston, and ships-of-war were granted to defend their 
commerce. These measures and the strength of the new government 
drew the attention of English merchants to the province, and trade 
increased with great rapidity, while large bodies of immigrants, in- 
cluding Scotch, Irish, and Swiss, came out to settle. Land, now easily 
obtainable, rose quickly in value, and was taken up by the planters in 
large tracts, too large, indeed, for the general prosperity. The estab- 
lishment of the colony of Georgia did much to increase the safety of 
the colony by beginning a line of settlements on the southern front- 
ier, where the attacks of the Spaniards and Indians had hitherto been 
a constant danger. 

Although the fall of the weak and ill-conducted government of the 
proprietaries had put a stop to the bitter and violent factions of South 
Carolina, parties were by no means extinct, and the opposition to gov- 
ernment, which had achieved a substantial victory by the transfer of 
the province to the Crown, soon became active. The too rapid tak- 
ing of lands received the royal veto, and the Assembly were soon en- 
gaged in a vigorous contest with the courts and the law ofiBcers of the 
Crown, and even refused to allow the writ of Habeas Corpus in favor 
of those whom they committed for resistance to their will. The As- 
sembly also insisted on voting the salary of the Governor annually, 
which caused a steady conflict with that ofiScer. Even John- 
son's popularity could not prevail here, although when he died 
the Assembly erected a handsome monument to his memory. 

Johnson was succeeded by Thomas Bronghton — one of the old 
leaders against the proprietaries — And the popular party was now in 


fall possession, and under his rather weak rale they still farther in- 
flated the currency hy.the issue of one hundred thousand pounds in 
hills of credit The unchecked sway of the Assemhly seemed, indeed, 
to threaten a recurrence of the old factions, and a consequent diminu- 
tion in the prosperity of the colony. But Broughton^s term 
1738^ of oflSce was not prolonged. He died after two years of ser- 
vice, and Samuel Horsley, who was appointed to succeed him, 
died hefore leaving England; so that the government devolved on 
William Bull, President of the Council, and Lieutenant-governor. 
Other events of a more serious nature also intervened to turn the 
attention of the colonists from political questions. Oglethorpe in- 
vaded Florida, and South Carolina troops were sent to join him. 
The expedition failed ; the friendly relations with Georgia changed to 
dislike and suspicion ; and while the colony was thus harassed hy the 
danger from the Spaniards, a desperate negro insurrection oc- 
curred, which was only suppressed after much bloodshed ; and 
this was in turn followed by a fire in Charleston, which laid a lai^e 
part of the city in ashes. Despite these drawbacks, and the great in- 
crease of debt, the colony throve, and grew rich from the rice trade, 
and from the production of indigo, which had been lately introduced. 
Many of the planters made large fortunes, or rather large incomes, 
and money began to be freely spent, and great luxury displayed at 

The Spanish war was still a cause of anxiety, and a descent on the 
coast was much feared. Oglethorpe, however, succeeded in repulsing 
the Spaniards at Frederica, and the dread of invasion and of 
negro revolt gradually diminished. In the mean time, the con- 
troversy regarding the Crown-lands had gone on with increasing acr 
rimony. The agent of the Crown, sent out by the government to in- 
vestigate the matter, had been thwarted and foiled by the Governor ; 
and the popular party was supposed to be encouraged by James Glen, 
a South Carolina proprietor who had been appointed Governor, but 
had lingered in England to care for the interests of the province. At 
last Glen arrived at Charleston, where he was warmly received 
as a friend of the colony. He was reproached in England 
with betraying the interests of the Crown ; but notwithstanding all 
this, so ineradicable was the hostility between the Assembly and their 
Governor, that Glen soon found occasion to complain of the encroach- 
ments of the Council, and the levelling principles of the popular rep- 
resentatives. Glen was, however, a good Governor, and his contests 


-with the Assembly do not appear to have interfered for many years 
-with the interests of the province. He cemented and extended the 
Indian treaties, and obtained additional troops from England to se- 
cure the colony from Spanish invasion and negro insurrection. The 
development of the colony now progressed steadily and rapidly, and 
settlements were extended in all directions. The prosperity was un- 
checked ; and the only trouble of importance arose from the illicit 
trade which sprang up here as elsewhere under the fostering influence 
of the oppressive laws. 

This happy condition of affairs, however, began to be darkened af- 
ter the middle of the century by the growth of the French power, and 
by the extension of the French posts on the west and south. Dis- 
tant as South Carolina was from Canada, the danger caused by the 
French system of Indian alliances began to be felt even there. Gov- 
ernor Glen, with wise prevision, went in person among the Cherokees, 
strengthened the old treaties, made new ones, and obtained the ces- 
sion of a large tract of tenitory, of which he took advantage 
by erecting forts on the frontier in the immediate neighbor- 
ht>od of the Indians, and well adapted to protect the outlying settle- 
ments. When, however, he went a step farther, and attempted to 
raise money in support of the war between England and France, his 
normal quarrel with the Assembly reached such a height that the 
grant of supplies was refused ; and South Carolina, as was only too 
common in the American colonies during the whole of the war, re- 
mained entirely inactive. In the following year, however. Glen re- 
tired, and a new governor, William Lyttelton, came out from 
England. He succeeded in soothing the Assembly, obtained 
a grant, enlisted men, and got additional troops from the other 

For a time these preparations seemed needless ; and distance from 
the seat of war and Glen's treaties appeared sufiicient to save the 
province. But at last this good fortune terminated. The Cherokees, 
in accordance with their treaties, had followed Forbes in his expedi- 
tion to Fort Du Quesne. On their return, they became involved in a 
qnarrel with the backwoods settlers of Virginia and of the Carolinas, 
whose horses they stole, and several men were killed on both sides. 
Their chiefs, however, desired peace, but were roughly treated by Lyt- 
telton, who marched against them ; and, having thoroughly exas- 
perated them, and made a worthless peace, returned to Charles- 
ton with his army broken by disease. The Cherokees, maddened 


by this treatment, and by the murder of some hostages, and insti- 
gated by French emissaries, began a general war, ravaged the fron- 
tier, and threw the whole province into a state of terror. At this 
juncture Lyttelton, promoted to the governorship of Jamaica, de- 
parted; and the government devolved on his lieutenant, William Bull, 
a son of the former Governor of that name, who was a man of po- 
sition, talent, and education, and who continued, except during the 
brief administrations of Thomas Boone, Lord Charles Montague, and 
Lord William Campbell, at the head of affaii-s until the Revolution. 

The provincial levies were at once united with some royal troops 
sent by Amherst, and a bloody but indecisive campaign followed. 
Soon after the royal troops were withdrawn to the North, and the 
province was again left to face the scourge of Indian warfare alone. 
The Cherokees succeeded in capturing one- of the forts, and butch- 
ered most of the prisoners. This led to renewed application for 
troops, which were sent under Colonel Grant, who, aided by fresh pro- 
vincial levies, devastated the Indian country, and succeeded at last 
in bringing them to terms. The war was an unnecessary and 
injurious one, resulting in great loss of life and property, and 
might have been avoided by a more moderate conduct on the part of 
Lyttelton. Although peace was made, the friendship of the Chero- 
kees was lost, and the smouldering embers blazed forth again when 
revolution came. 

Relieved from the stress of war, South Carolina, one of the richest 
of the colonies, through her staples of rice and indigo, made rapid 
strides. Her agnculture and trade alike increased, while immigration 
was strenuously encouraged, and new settlements were pushed rapidly 
to the westward. Among these settlers in the back country were 
many loose characters, who harassed the farmers and planters by horse- 
stealing and other depredations. All the courts sat in Charleston, and 
the local justices were either inefficient or in league with the thieves. 
This state of affairs led the most respectable of the inhabitants to 
form associations known as Regulators, who took the law into 
their own hands, and a good deal of rough-and-ready justice, 
and much complaint, were the results. To settle matters. Lord Charles 
Montague, then acting Governor, sent one Scovil out to deal 
with the difficulties. Scovil undertook to treat the Regulators 
as rioters, and arrested two of them, whom he sent to Charleston. 
This injudicious course came very near causing civil war, and both 
parties were ready to appeal to arras. They fortunately refrained. 


however, and the establishment of district or circait courts by the 
Assembly gave the Regulators an opportunity, of which they 
availed themselves, to bring criminals to justice in the ordi- 
nary way. The controversy, however, engendered much bitterness of 
feeling, which found vent during the Revolution, when the Regulators 
espoused the patriotic side, and the former followere of Scovil became 

With this exception, peace reigned in South Carolina after the 
French war. The colony was more closely connected by her trade 
with the mother country than many of the others, and the general 
spirit was one of loyalty to the Crown and attachment to the consti- 
tution. But as their whole history shows, the people of South Caro- 
lina were extremly jealous of any interference with their affairs, of 
any manifestation of external power, and of anything like oppression. 
They had, moreover, the usual grievances arising from the laws of 
trade and the restrictions on industry. The plan of taxing Ameri- 
ca, therefore, excited great alarm among them, and the Stamp Act 
aroused deep hostility, especially among the Regulators of the back 
country then engaged in a sharp conflict with the government. The 
deep feeling awakened by the new policy soon found expression. 
The Assembly was in session when the Massachusetts Circular ar- 
rived, and after a prolonged debate responded to the call. Two of 
the future leaders of the Revolution appeared at New York 
in the Stamp Act Congress — Christopher Gadsden and John 
Rutledge. The prompt action of the Assembly was a decisive meas- 
ure in bringing about that Congress, and in founding the union of 
States, of which South Carolina then became a part. 


Chapter VIIL 
south carolina in 1765. 

In Soath Carolina wo pass beyond the last traces of northern infla- 
cnce, and the Virginian type of manners and society becomes ivholly 
southern, while all the essential peculiarities of the Vii^inian group 
of colonies are intensified, and are not only predominant but reign 

The general configuration of the province did not differ greatly from 
that of North Carolina. The coast was low and sandy, and the land 
near the sea of inferior quality. The interior was covered with vast 
forests intersected with many fine rivers, and broken by swamps and 
savannas. The low lands along the river bottoms were extremely rich, 
and the soil of the whole province, except for the stretches of pine 
barrens, was of good quality, and improved steadily as it rose with a 
gradual ascent from the sea-coast to the mountains on the western 
frontier. The climate, although very variable, and exhibiting great ex- 
tremes of heat and cold, was distinctly tropical in character, usually 
intensely warm, and marked by violent thunder-storms and wild hur- 

The population, consisting of a few thousands at the beginning of 
the century, had risen at the time of the Revolution to between one 
hundred and fifty and two hundred thousand. The increase was 
largely due to the constant importations of African slaves at the rate 
of three thousand yearly. The blacks were to the whites in the pro- 
portion of two or three to one — a circumstance which had a deep ef- 
fect upon the social condition as well as the political future of the 

' For contemporary accounts of soil, climate, etc., see Smyth*8 Tour, i., 202 ; ii., 
70, 73, 74 ; and Glen's Answers to the Lords of Trade, 1 749, in Doc. relating to 
South Carolina, Weston, pp. 69, 71, 79. 

' The estimates of population in South Carolina vary greatly, and the statement 
given above is the result of a careful comparison of the different and dififering au- 


The dominant element among the whites was English ; but it was 
neither so strong nor so numerous as in the other colonies, and the for- 
eign elements were not only many and varied, but one or two of them 
almost equalled the English in power, and contributed many of tho 
political and social leaders. In the early days, writes Governor Arch- 
dale, " many dissenters went over, men of estates, as also many whom 
the variety of fortune had engaged to seek their fortunes in the New 
World. * * * The most desperate fortunes first ventured over to 
break the ice, being generally the ill-livers of the pretended Church- 
men."* The wretched government of the charter checked immigra- 
tion, which revived under Archdale, and brought people from New 
England and Scotland, and dissenters from all parts of the English 
dominions.' At a very early period an inconsiderable number of 
Dutch settlers came from New York, and a few years later the immi- 
gration of French Protestants began, which increased after the revo- 
cation of the Edict of Nantes, in the year 1685, to large proportions. 
This Huguenot clement was larger in South Carolina than elsewhere, 
and by their standing and success attracted many of their brethren 
from the northern colonies. They formed an excellent and influential 
part of the population, were wealthy, and of high social position, and 
their descendants were conspicuous in the history of the State.' In 
the year 1696 a congregation came from Dorchester, Massachusetts, 
under the leadership of the Rev. Joseph Lord ; and there was always 
more or less emigration from Virginia, Pennsylvania, and North Car- 
olina, which strengthened and improved the colony. The policy of 
religious toleration, finally adopted, offered strong inducements for 
setUement to dissenters of all nations, and there was, in consequence, 
a large German immigration, principally composed of Palatines, which 
continued until it was stopped by Frederick the Great. These Ger- 
mans were thrifty and industrious, and a good population, although 
they clung for a long time to their own speech, and although among 
the Palatines there was much ignorance and superstition. After the 

thorities. The fallest data are given in Mills^s Statistics of South Carolina, p. 173, 
and ff. Other estimates may be found in Smyth, i., 207 ; The Case of the Dissent- 
ers in South Carolina, 1708 ; Glen's Report to the Lords of Trade, Hist. Coll., ' 
Weston; Glen's Description of South Carolina; Milligan's Account of South Car- 
olina, in Carroll's Hist ColL, ii., 24 ; Purry's Account of South Carolina, in Carroll's 
Hist. Coll, ii., 128 ; Yon Reek's Journal, and Bolzius. 

1 Archdale's Description of South Carolina, Carroll, ii, 100. * Ibid. 

' Letter from South Carolina, p. 41, in Bishop Kennett's Tracts. 


risings of 1715 and 1745, bodies of Highlanders came oat and settled 
in the back districts, chiefly as small farmers and Indian traders. The 
largest and most steady immigration, however, came from the north 
of Ireland. These English or Scotch-Irish, with English names, and 
of the Presbyterian sect, were, like the Hugaenots, a strong and flour- 
ishing element in the comroonity. They founded some of the most 
important families, and produced some of the most brilliant leaders of 
South Carolina.' 

From this brief enumeration of the varied sources from which the 
population of South Carolina was drawn, it may be readily inferred 
that the great majority of her people dissented in religious belief 
from the Church of England. The establishment of the English 
Church, therefore, and the general religious policy and condition of 
religion, form a most curious chapter in the history of the province. 

The charter of 1669, providing for the support of the English 
Chuirch by the govenment, also guaranteed to the colonists religious 
toleration. More settlers were attracted by the latter clause than 
the former ; and political power remained with the dissenters. No 
clergy of the English Church came to the colony for many years 
after its foundation ; and it was not until 1681 that an Episcopal 
church was built in Charleston by private benevolence.' Jealousy of 
the growth and prosperity of the Huguenot population induced an 
intolerance toward them, and a restraint of their freedom, which led 
to complaints on their part, and thence, in 1697, to an act securing 
liberty of worship to all Protestant sects," while in the following year 
a grant was made by the Assembly for the maintenance of the single 
Episcopal church, the ruling dissenters, under the lead of Governor 
Blake, cheerfully giving their support to the act* This policy of a 
true and broad toleration met with general acquiescence, but it was 
of short duration. The question of religion became involved in the 
bitter, turbulent, and factions political struggles of the time. Al- 
though two-thirds of the people, and those the richest and most com- 
mercial, were dissenters, a small and corrupt set of officials, sustained 
by a faction of High-Churchmen, succeeded by means of high-handed 
measures, and by frauds and riots at the elections, in securing to them- 

^ In regard to the elements of population in South Carolina, see Doc. relating 
to South Carolina, Weston, Glen*8 Report, p. 82, 166 ; Mills's Statistics, p. 173, and 
ff. ; O'Neairs Annals of Newbury, pp. 27, 82. 

• Anderson's Hist, of Colonial Church, ii., 828, 461. » Ibid., 465. 

* Case of the Dissenters in Carolina, p. 11 ; Mills, p. 216. 


selves control of the government. They at once used their power to 
effect the political ruin of the dissenters ; and in the year 1704 passed 
acts for the organization of the Church, vesting the governing power 
in the hands of a lay commission, for the exclusion or disfranchise- 
ment of dissenters, and against occasional conformity. This policy 
pleased no one. The members of the Church disliked the lay com- 
mission ; the dissenters were, of course, outraged beyond endurance, 
and opposition also found vent among the London merchants, who saw 
their trade deeply injured by this intolerance. The dissenters at once 
sent an agent to England, who laid the case before Parliament. The 
House of Lords passed resolutions condemning all the acts, the Queen, 
on address, declared them null and void, and in 1706 they were re- 
pealed by the Assembly.* 

Even during this brief period of absolute rule the dominant spirit 
in religious matters seems to have been of a Puritanic cast. A strong 
law was passed against blasphemy ; and any one denying the Trinity, 
the truth of religion, or the Scriptures, was disfranchised for the first 
offence, and outlawed for the second.' The Sunday laws of a later 
time partook of the same character, and showed at the same time the 
real weakness of the Church party. Attendance upon some church 
was required under a penalty ; trade, work, and sports, as well as 
drunkenness, were prohibited on the Sabbath ; innkeepers were for- 
bidden to entertain any but genuine travellers, and no writ or process 
could be legally served.* 

The obnoxious legislation of 1704 did not strengthen the Estab- 
lished Church, which had for many years but a feeble growth. It 
retained, however, its organization and unquestioned recognition as 
the State Church, and its ascendency was maintained for the next 
seventy years. The province was divided politically into parishes, 
and in each there was nominally at least a vestry and church-wardens 
to whom certain functions of local government were assigned. They 
had charge of the poor, assessed and collected the poor rates, and 
also superintended the elections.* All the clergy, dissenting and con- 
forming, were elected by the people, and were men of excellent char- 
acter. The latter were paid by the Assembly by funds raised from 
the custom duties, and were sent out by the society for the propa- 

. ' Party Tyranny in South Carolina, 1705; Case of the Dissenters of Carolina, 
1704; Mills, p. 216; Grimke,Laws of South Carolina, 1*708; Archdale^s Descrip- 
tion of South Carolina, Carroll, ii., 117 ; Anderson, iii., 478. 

• Grimke, 1708-'4. » Ibid., 1712. * Ibid., 1712, 1721, 1722. 


gation of the Gospel They were hard-working men, who taught 
schools, and labored also among the negroes ; and the respect they in- 
spired is shown by the funds bequeathed to them by benevolent per- 
sons for educational and religions purposes. A general spirit of tol- 
eration prevailed after the early conflicts, and its good effects were 
seen in the spread of religion, and in the high character of the min- 

In the middle of the eighteenth century Governor Glen estimated 
the members of the Established Church as forming nearly one-half 
the population ; but this is probably an official exaggeration, and there 
can be little question that the dissenting sects were much the most 
numerous. In Charleston the Established Church had two handsome 
brick churches, while there were six meeting-houses of dissenting sects, 
besides an assembly of Quakers and another of Jews. In the year 
1749 the ministers were paid by the Assembly, but there were six- 
teen parishes, and these notoriously incomplete. The State Church 
was, in fact, but a small sect, controlling probably not a fifth of the 
population. The largest dissenting sect was the Presbyterian, sup- 
ported by the Scotch-Irish immigration. The Quakers, who played 
an important part at the beginning, gradually dwindled, and finally 
became extinct, owing to their disowning slave-holders, and to their cour- 
ageous opposition to slavery. The clergy of the Established Church, 
differing widely from those of Virginia and Maryland in their zeal, 
character, and steady work, were no less distinct in their politics. Not 
one-quarter of the Virginian or Maryland ministers, who were almost 
all bitter Tories, espoused the patriot side ; while in South Carolina 
the case was exactly reversed, and her excellent ministers, as a rule, 
sided with the opposition to England. They thus retained their hold 
upon the affections of the people, and presented their organization 
through the Revolution. The clergy of all sects in South Carolina 
formed the principal, if not the only, learned class ; their position in 
society was respectable; and they confined themselves to their pro- 
fessional duties, leaving to laymen the conduct of pleasure and busi- 

The early government was under the charter of Charles IL, and 
nominally, at lenst, in conformity with the famous constitutions drawn 

^ For this account of Church and sects in South Carolina, see Doc. relating to 
South Carolina, Weston, Glen's Report, pp. 80, 178 ; De Brahm, ibid, p. IIS ; Milla, 
p. 216 ; Glen's Description, p. 78 ; Missionaries sent to Carolina, Homphrejs, in 
Carroll, ii. ; O'Neall, Annals of Newbury, p. 82. 


by Shaftesbury. The rule of the proprietaries was generally bad and 
unpopular. At one time it was found necessary to pass a law to pun- 
ish any one speaking against the lords proprietary ;^ but the bad gov- 
ernment went on, the people became more and more discontented, 
and remonstrated more and more frequently.' At last the colony 
was turned over to the King, and the government assumed the form 
usual in the Crown provinces. It consisted of a Governor and Coun- 
cil of twelve, constituting the Upper House, appointed by the King, 
and an Assembly, chosen by the people. The Governor was much 
less powerful than was commonly the case ; and although Glen, who 
held the ofiSce, wished for more power, he felt obliged to confess that 
on general grounds it was very well as it was. The Governor, of 
course, represented the Crown, and could convoke, prorogue, and dis- 
solve the Assembly. He also had the power of reprieve, until instruc- 
tions could be received in the case from England. His weakness was 
due to his slender patronage, which extended only to justices of the 
peace and officer of the militia. The important ofiSces were granted 
by the Crown, and included, besides the Council, the judiciary, the 
secretary of the province, the attorney, and the surveyor-general, and 
some lesser but more lucrative offices, such as the provost marshal 
and cle^k of the Crown and Pleas — sinecures held at one time by the 
dramatist, Richard Cumberland, who made various attempts to capi- 
talize them by sale to the Assembly. 

The Assembly was chosen by the freeholders voting by ballot, and 
the members were required to own five hundred acres of land and ten 
slaves, or be worth one thousand pounds in land, houses, and other 
property. They i*epresented the parishes in theory according to a 
proportional system, but the parishes were very unequally divided ; 
some towns which were entitled to representation had none ; and the 
Charleston precinct returned a majority of the delegates, and absorb- 
ed the lion's share of the political power. The Assembly held the 
purse-strings, and possessed the patronage of all the financial offices, 
such as the public treasurer, the county controllers, the powder re- 
ceiver, and Indian commissioner.' 

Revenue was raised chiefly from general duties on everything but 
the manufactures of Great Britain, and from exported deer -skins. 

* Grimke, 1691. • Party Tyranny in Carolina, 1705. 

' In regard to organization of government, see Doc relating to South Carolina; 
Glen's Report, pp. 80, 105, 127; Grimke, 1721 ; Milligan's Account, 1768, Carroll, 



There was also a direct tax on realty and persona1t3\ The quit-rents^ 
when they could be collected, were paid to the Crqwn, to which the 
duties on imported negroes and liquors were likewise granted by the 
Assembly. The salaries and ordinary expenses of government absoib- 
ed the revenue ; but both were insignificant, and taxation was, as a 
rule, very light and little felt.^ 

The judiciary was arranged in a rough way upon the English 
model, but without any attention to legal acquirements on the part of 
the judges. There was a court of chancery, consisting of the Govern- 
or and Council, and an admiralty court, appointed by the Lords Com- 
missioners of Admiralty. There was also a court of common pleas, 
holding quarter-sessions in the districts, and sitting once a year as a 
court of oyer and terminer. The judges of this court were appointed 
by the Crown, and transacted most of the legal business of the col- 
ony, sitting in Charleston exclusively until within a few years of 
the Revolution. There were also small county or justices^ courts, 
to try petty causes, and attend to the punishment of slaves and ser- 
vants. "[Qiese inferior courts meted out justice in a very rough fash- 
ion, it is said, especially in the back districts. The power of punish- 
ment for contempt appears to have been freely exercised, and a fine 
of five pounds inflicted upon the judge and county attorney for a per- 
sonal encounter in the court-room gives a curious idea of the back- 
woods administration of justice.' 

The common law prevailed, and at an early day an act was passed 
for the Habeas Corpus, and certain English statutes, beginning with 
Magna Charta, were declared to be in force by the Assembly. The 
criminal laws were very severe, and crime was on the increase, owing 
chiefly, in all probability, to the savage ignorance of the negroes. 
Criminals were punished in the simple fashion of the day — by whip- 
ping, stocks, and pillory — and any form of restraint, indeed, was prob- 
ably out of the question, if we may judge from the stories of the 
prisoners breaking out of the court-room and fighting in the yard.' 

There was much litigation ; and as the administration of justice was 
centred at Charleston, a good class of lawyers began to grow up in 
the years preceding the Revolution, and the profession was both re- 

* Gleu's Report, p. 98 ; Grimke, 1731 ; Glen's Description. 

• Smyth, i., 206,207; Glen's Report, p. 80; De Brahm, p. 178; Mills, p. 192; 
Grimke, 1721, 1736 ; O^Neall, Annals of Newbury, p, 18. 

' Grimke, 1712 ; Rochefoucauld, L, 663, 665 ; O'Neall, p. 18. 


spectable and promising, althongb still numerically 6mall.^ Other pro- 
fessions fared less well than those of law and divinity. We hear of 
no physicians, and the practice of medicine was probably, for the most 
part, in rude and unskilled hands. There was no navy and no regu- 
lar army ; but, owing to the dread of negro insurrection, the militia, 
numbering eight thousand, were efiBcient, well-drilled, and well-armed.' 

The occupations of the great body of the inhabitants were agricult- 
ural. Almost all the whites were planters or farmers. The country 
was roughly but effectually cleared by cutting or burning the trees, 
the former being the most common and profitable, as the lumber was 
exported. The chief product was rice, introduced about the year 
1694. Its cultivation rapidly increased, owing to the great profits — 
one slave raising more than his own value in a year; but by the 
middle of the century the staple was over -planted, the zenith of 
great prosperity had passed, and low prices ruled. The loss of in- 
come thus occasioned was made good at the time, however, by the 
introduction of indigo, which soon nearly equalled rice in value and 
importance. Com and cotton were also raised in large quantities, and 
cattle multiplied with great rapidity. Many planters had heixls of two 
or three thousand head, which ran wild, and were penned and counted 
yearly ; and owing to this inexpensive mode of grazing, large quan- 
tities of beef were exported with great profit to the West Indies.* 

The prosperity consequent upon these productions was of late date. 
Under the rule of the proprietaries, not only the evils incident to a 
new settlement — such as disease, fires, and Indian wars — ^had to be 
encountered, but the wretched and corrupt condition of the govern- 
ment, and the violent and factious divisions of party, as well as the 
pirates, who infested the coast, ruined trade, and were connived at 
by government officials, retarded a!l progress. Yet even then those 
of the colonists who were not given up to dissipation rapidly accu- 
mulated property.* After the establishment of the firm and well-or- 
dered royal government, rapid growth and prosperity ensued. The 

' Rochefoucauld, i., 563. 

* De Brahm, Doc. relating to South Carolina, Weston ; Dr. Milligan's Account 
of South Carolina, Carroll, ii., 465. 

» Smyth, ii., 68, 70, 78, 79 ; Doc. relating to South Carolina, Glen's Report ; De 
Brahm, ibid. ; Mills, p. 160 ; Glen's Description, p. 95 ; Stephens's Journal, ii., 129. 

* Purrj's Account of South Carolina, Carroll, ii., 128; Proceedings of South 
Carolina in 1719, ibid., p. 146; Mills, p. 160; Grimke, 1685, 1703; Archdale's De- 
scription of Carolina, Carroll, ii. 


pirates were broken up, and the rice trade began. In the decade from 
1730 to 1740 exports and imports doubled; and, although there was 
some falling off after the decline in rice set in, they amonnted at the 
period of the Revolution to six or seven hundred thousand pounds an- 
nually, and employed between one hundred and fifty and two hundred 
vessels. Much of this was due to the better system of trade in South 
Carolina than in the other members of the southern group. Some few 
planters attempted to save money by exporting directly ; but the great 
majority sold their products to the Charleston merchants, who shipped 
them to England, the northern colonies, Europe, and the West Indies. 
This made trade much sounder than in Virginia and Maryland, but did 
not rid South Carolina of the evils of depreciated currency^-dating 
back to Queen Anne^s wars— or of the total lack of industries. Not 
only every luxury and every manufactured article was brought from 
England, but even objects of prime necessity were imported. During 
a large part of the colonial period the province was dependent on New 
York and Philadelphia for flour and bacon. Every form of skilled 
labor was ligh-priced, and mechanics were in great demand ; and the 
carrying trade was wholly in the hands of British and New England 
merchants. There were, in fact, absolutely no industries of any kind, 
except those of agriculture and a profitable traffic with the Indians, 
carried on by the Charleston merchants, who transported their goods 
to the West on pack-horses.^ These merchants, who did so much for 
the well-being of the state, were generally rich men, who did not spec- 
ulate, but bought from the planters, and carried on a strictly legiti- 
mate trade.* Yet they were regarded as an inferior class by the 
planters, who formed the bulk of the population, and absolutely con- 
trolled the state.' There were, indeed, but two classes in South Car- 
olina — the planters and the slaves — forming as pure and despotic an 
aristocracy as could well be imagined. With the exception of the 
Scotch Highlanders, who farmed in the back districts, small landhold- 
ers and poor whites were few in number, and the indented servants 
were not numerous. 

1 Smyth, i., 208 ; 11, 63, 66, 70, 84, 86 ; Doc. relating to South Carolina, Glen, 
pp. 71, 82, 190; De Brahm, ibid. ; Mills, p. 160 ; Grimke, 1721, 1746, 1759; Glen's 
Description, for account of currency, and also, p. 80, for labor ; Purry's Account, 
Carroll, il ; Proceedings of South Carolina, 1719, ibid., p. 146, as to frauds in 
currency ; also Von Reek's Journal, 1738, and Bolzius. 

' Rochefoucauld, i., 577 ; Glen's Description, p. 78, and summary of occupations. 

* Ibid., iu, 175. 


The condition of this last class did not differ essentially from that 
in the other colonies. They were generally " redemptioners," who 
paid their passage to America by selling themselves into service for 
a term of years. Their masters were at liberty to whip them ; they 
were punished with additional years of servitude if they ran away ; no 
one could trade with them ; and their travel was strictly limited. At 
the expiration of this degraded servitude they received a certificate 
of freedom, and were soon lost among the poor whites and small 

Far more important was the still lower class of African slaves. They 
greatly outnumbered all other elements of population, and were the 
foundation and support of the whole industrial and economical sys- 
tem. The^t numbered more than one hundred thousand, of whom 
about eighty per cent, were employed on plantations, and the remain- 
der as house servants, and in various menial capacities. They per- 
formed all the hard work of the colony. They cost about forty pounds 
each ; and as they produced in one year more rice or indigo than suf- 
ficed to pay their entire value, the profit upon them wastvery large, 
and the temptation to get all the work possible out of them very great. 
The culture of both rice and indigo was sickly, and this, joined to un- 
remitting toil, wore them down rapidly, so that they became prema- 
turely old and shrivelled, presenting a marked contrast to the slaves 
of Virginia. The slave legislation of South Carolina resembles, in a 
general way, that of the northern colonies ; but a close examination 
reveals some very characteristic differences. Mixture of races was 
prevented, and the taint of black blood rendered hopeless by laws- 
making all negro, mulatto, or mestizo children follow the condition 
of the mother, unless freed before the court Slaves could be bap- 
tized, were not to be beaten without cause, and excessive punishments 
were prohibited, and the hours of labor fixed — limitations which show 
very forcibly the habits of the masters. No slave could be absent 
from his plantation without a ticket, and any white person was au- 
thorized to stop a slave, examine and beat him, and, if he resisted, 
could lawfully kill him. All persons were empowered to disperse 
meetings of blacks, and those hurt in the common cause — the pursuit 
of fugitive slaves — were to be rewarded at public expense. A justice 
and two freeholders could try a slave for any offence, and, against 
slaves and free negroes, the evidence of other slaves and of Indians was 

> Grimke, 1744. 


admissible. Heavy penalties were exacted from them for all crimes, 
and especiallj for conspiracy. They could neither buy, nor sell, nor 
hire horses, nor travel in companies of more than seven, and were 
forbidden to learn to write. The wilful murder of a slave was expiated 
by a fine of seven hundred pounds, and manslaughter by one of three 
hundred and fifty. Those who harbored fugitives were heavily fined; 
while enticing a slave away was, until a late period of the colony, 
punished by death, which remained the penalty for stealing them« 
No planter was allowed to leave his plantation except in charge of a 
white, and the law required that slaves should never be left alone. 
All whites were obliged to go armed to church, and patrols from the 
militia were constantly on duty to search for arms, and give all stray 
negroes whom they met twenty lashes.^ This legislation shows in 
every line the atmosphere of terror in which the planters lived, and 
there is a careful ferocity and well-planned barbarity which is wholly 
wanting to the northward. But the grounds for this fear-inspired 
code were only too real. The negroes were hopelessly degraded. 
They were rarely baptized or married, but lived, like animals, in a 
state of promiscuous intercourse. After six days of incessant labor 
for their mastei-s, they were permitted on the seventh to work for 
themselves. . Their condition, therefore, was one of almost complete 
barbarism, and they retained some of the savage bravery and inde- 
pendence which a kinder dispensation had almost obliterated in their 
Virginian brethren. The planters were always haunted by the dread 
of a West Indian rising and massacre. Combinations and conspiracies 
were constant sources of anxiety. It was believed that the slaves 
were ever ready to run away and form frontier communities, which 
would menace the safety of the province, and it is certain that the 
negroes were dangerous, discontented, hated the whites, and were 
always ripe for revolt. Insurrections, involving more or less blood- 
shed, did, in fact, break out during the eighteenth century.* In South 
Carolina, too, there was none of the distinction between theory and 
practice which prevailed elsewhere. The slaves were harshly and 
cruelly treated, and grievously overworked. A clergyman who vent- 
ured to preach in regard to the savage treatment of the slaves was 

1 Grimke, 1Y12, 1740, 1743, 1746, 1751, 1754. There is a summary of this legis- 
lation in Rochefoucauld, i., 564. 

• As to slavery in South Carolina, see Smyth, i., 205 ; ii., 68, 70 ; Doc. relating 
to South Carolina, Glen's Report ; De Brahm, ibid. ; Milligan, Carroll, ii., 465 ; Von 
Reek's Journal ; Bolzius's Journal ; Stephens's Journal, i., 899 ; ii., 129. 


sharply reproved by his congregation. " Sir," they said, " we pay 
you a genteel salary to read to us the prayers of the liturgy, and to 
explain to ns such parts of the Gospel as the rule of the Church di- 
rects; but we do not want yon to teach us what to do with our 
blacks." The unlucky pastor was completely silenced.^ A traveller 
records the spectacle of a negro exposed alive in a cage to die of hun- 
ger and thirst The miserable wretch was torn by birds, and his eyes 
had been picked out His crime was the murder of an overseer, and 
the argument in favor of this ghastly punishment was the defence of 
society.* Such extreme barbarity was probably not common, but it 
vividly illustrates the state of a society which required such a defence. 

The planters who lived in the midst of such a slavery, and sustain- 
ed it, were not only an overwhelming majority among the whites, but 
practically owned and governed the province. Approaching them as 
masters, we see the worst side of South Carolinian society, but we 
also clearly appreciate the fact that it was an aristocracy of the most 
marked kind. Lords and slaves formed the community. The former 
maintained an anxious and grinding despotism, and were, as a class, 
brave, imperious, hot-tempered, and too often fierce and cruel. 

The plantations were, as elsewhere, scattered through the forests 
and along the banks of rivers ; but the planters did not live on their 
estates unless they were in the neighborhood of Charleston, but left 
them in charge of overseers. They all had houses in Charleston, and 
there the whole life of the colony — social, political, legal, and com- 
mercial — centred. The town stood low, near the mouths of the Coo- 
per and Ashley rivers, and contained, at the time of the Revolution, 
rather more than fifteen thousand inhabitants. The streets were well 
laid out, although nnpaved and sandy ; and the public buildings and 
churches were handsome for the time, with some architectural preten- 
sions. The houses were nearly all of brick, with broad verandas, and 
contrived always with a view to mitigate the intense heat. Although 
the population seems small to modern notions of cities, it was by no 
means so insignificant in the eighteenth century; and the peculiar 
structure of society made the wealthy and fashionable classes much 
more numerous proportionally than they ever would be in a northern 
or in an English town of the same size. All labor was performed ex- 
clusively by negroes, who formed half the population ; while the rest 
of the inhabitants, with the exception of a few shopkeepers, were 

1 Cr^veooBur, p. 224. * Ibid., p. 284. 


officials, wealthy planters and merchants, or the best professional men 
in the colony. The centralization thus effected was something quite 
uncommon in the English provinces. Charleston had no rivals — the 
other towns being small — and absorbed and drew to itself every inter- 
est of the province.* In the immediate vicinity of Charleston the 
plantations were occupied by their owners, and were well maintained. 
The negro huts, of course clustered about the house, gave the usual 
village-like look ; but there were handsome gardens and fine avenues, 
showing the effects of a close contact with society, instead of the Vir- 
ginian isolation.* The town produced the same effect upon facilities 
for travel. Although the roads were often sandy and heavy, they 
were well laid out Causeways were built over marshes, and private 
roads were as good as those built by the public This was true only 
of the great roads leading north and south, and of those near Charles- 
ton and the sea-coast. In the interior travel was difficult, and the 
roads little more than woodland paths." 

Many planters lived in Charleston all the year round ; and all of 
them, as well as many invalids from the West Indies, gathered there 
in summer, for the relief afforded by the sea-breeze.* This constant 
social contact and town life had of course a marked effect. The 
South Carolinians were at bottom the same country gentlemen as 
those of Virginia; but they were more polished, more men of the 
world, and more refined in manners and habits of life. There was all 
the gayety of a fashionable watering-place in Charleston. In winter 
assemblies were held every fortnight, with " a brilliant appearance " 
of well-dressed women, besides frequent dinners, balls, supper-parties, 
and amateur concerts. There was also " a genteel play-house, and a 
tolerable set of actors." In summer no amusements except riding 
and driving were possible ; but in winter there were field-sports of 
every description, such as fox-hunting and horse-racing, foot-ball, bear 
and bull baiting, and entertainments described in the laws as " inter- 
ludes apd common plays." Nothing began until after four in the af- 
ternoon ; and besides the more innocent pleasures just described, the 
gambling-houses were crowded, and high play prevailed.* 

* For contemporary accounts of Charleston, see Michaux^s Travels, p. 7 ; Smyth, 
i., 202 ; ii., 82 ; Glen's Answers, in Doc. relating to South Carolina ; De Brahm, ibid., 
p. 178 ; Milligan, Carroll, ii., 466 ; Von Reek's Journal ; Rochefoucauld, i., 666. 

« Memoirs of Elkanah Watson. 

* De Brahm, p. 178 ; Rochefoucauld, i,, 688. * Cr^vecoeur, p. 214. 

* For amusements, see Cr^vecoeur, p. 214 ; Grimke, 1712; Milligan, Carroll, ii., 
465 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 668, 


The men led a rather wild and dissipated life, and drank deeply — 
an intemperance which in that climate carried them off very early, and 
their mortality was so marked, that the women, who contented them- 
selves with the brackish water of the coast, always married two or three 
times. These fortunate ladies were much in society, but modest, at- 
tractive, and accomplished. Many of them played upon the harp, and 
sang well. The climate caused them to fade early ; and it is said they 
looked old at thirty.^ The life of both sexes was one of greater lux- 
ury than in any other American colony, and was sensual, self-indul- 
gent, and indolent Women never walked, and men but rarely. No 
family had less than twenty slaves as house -servants, and extrava- 
gance, although there were few very large fortunes, was the rule. All 
had handsome equipages and horses, and kept open house. Tliey 
were extremely hospitable, and the negroes were directed in the coun- 
try to ask in any passing stranger. The effect of slavery and of the 
warm climate was perceptible in the slovenliness which showed itself 
even in the most extensive establishments ; but the general character- 
istics were luxury and comfort." 

In the back country life was much ruder, and the people of a lower 
class; but except near Cape Fear, where the inhabitants, after the 
North Carolina fashion, avoided taxes and quit-rents, law and order 
prevailed, although the planters usually ruled with a high hand. 
Thanks to the absence of freed servants and poor whites, there was 
little or no poverty. All who were not rich planters were small and 
self-supporting farmers and Indian traders or hunters.* 

General education could hardly be said to exist even after the Rev- 
olution ; there were no free and scarcely any paid schools, and there 
was no college. The very excellent clergy did what they could to 
remedy the prevailing ignorance, even among the blacks, and both 
they and laymen left bequests for the foundation of schools. But this 
general illiteracy did not obtain among the numerous and powerful 
body of planters.* The sons of the rich were all educated in Europe, 

> Smyth, ii., 54 ; Cr6vecoeur, p. 214 ; MilligaTi, Carroll, li., 466 ; Purry, ibid., p. 1Y8. 
» Smyth, ii., 83 ; Glen's Answers, p. 82 ; Milligan, Carroll, ii., 465 ; Memoirs of 
Elkanah Watson ; Rochefoucauld, i., 555, 574, 591 ; De Brahm, p. 178. 

• Smyth, i., 206 ; ii., 80 ; Glen's Answers, p. 67 ; O'Neall, Annals of Newbury, 
p. 18. 

* Mills's Statistics of South Carolina, p. 216; Milligan, Carroll, ii.,465; O'Xeall, 
generally, and especially, pp. 86, 111, 249 ; Anderson's Hist. Col. Church, iii., 488 ; 
Rochefoucauld, i., 580. 


and in Charleston, beaides a society for the promotion of literatnre, 
there vaa also a library society, promoted by Governor Bull, which 
imported many valuable books and gave them circulation ; but despite 
these societies and the comparatively high education of the upper 
classes, there was no native literature of any sort. The Rev. Alex- 
ander Garden produced some controversial tracts under the stimulus 
of Whiteiield, and a few sermons found their way into print ; but this 
was all. Intellectual development, except in politics and trade, did 
not go farther in South Carolina than in the other southern colonies. 
In all connected with these two subjects of politics and commerce, 
there was no lack of acuteness and experience, nor of love of indepen- 
dence. The utter dependence both in exports and imports drew South 
Carolina closer to England than the other provinces, and the result 
was seen in the active existence of a powerful and bitter Tory party 
when the Revolution came. But the strongest and best among the 
planters adopted the patriot cause, and carried the State safely through 
the stress of war. We find in South Carolina that the northern qual- 
ities perceptible in Virginia have wholly disappeared, while all the south- 
em elements have been intensified. Her close slave-holding aristoc- 
racy produced many leaders of ability, who rendered great services to 
the cause of the united colonies, and afterward gave their State a strong 
position in the country, and a place second only to that of Virginia in 
the southern group. 


Chapter IX. 

GEORGIA FROM 1732 TO 1*766. 

The settlement of Sonth Carolina, and the danger to which the in- 
habitants were exposed of incursions from the Spaniards and Indians, 
drew early attention to the fertile region lying between the Savannah 
River and the boundaries of Florida, Nothing, however, was done to 
occapy this territory until after the Carolinas had formally passed into 
the possession of the Crown, and that portion of the new provinces 
which afterward became Georgia was retained by the King when the 
governments of the Carolinas were settled. 

The Atlantic coast of the United States was from the time of its 
discovery the field for many experiments. Some were Utopias de- 
signed for the regeneration of mankind, which never got farther than 
the paper on which t')3y were described, while others failed when put 
to the hard tests of life in a new country. Even the colonies actually 
founded present every variety of origin and motive, from the highest 
and mq^t far-reaching purposes of politics and religion to the small 
beginnings of posts for the better prosecution of the fur trade. Among 
all these, Georgia was the only one to owe its foundation to charity. 
The benevolent scheme, out of which a state was finally developed, 
would be dull enough historically, were it not for one or two of the 
principal personages who figured in the history of the youngest of the 
American colonies. 

Among those who led the English race into the wilds of Noilh 
America, and who there won noble places in the world's records as 
founders of states and of a nation, were many strong men of striking 
character and marked ability. In this goodly company there is hard- 
ly one who is more conspicuous or more interesting than the gallant 
soldier who founded Georgia. Some of them may have been actuated 
by more important principles of politics or religion ; but there is not 
one who displayed greater devotion to duty or greater unselfishness, 
or to whom any colony from its inception owed more than Georgia 
did to James Oglethorpe. 


The colonization ol Georgia is naturally the achievement by which 
Oglethorpe is best known, and upon which his fame rests ; but his ca- 
reer was in every way a remarkable one. His active life covered more 
than three-quarters of a century. He sprang from an ancient family, 
and one which had sacrificed both life and fortune in the cause of the 
Stuarts. By inheritance he was a Jacobite, and was always a high 
Tory ; but his loyalty to the reigning house was unstained, and he 
proved his devotion by his service against the Pretender in " forty- 
five." Born just at the close of the reign of James H., Ogle- 
thorpe entered the army at an early age. He served with Marl- 
borough in the Low Countries, was with Peterborough in his Italian 
embassy, and then, as aide-de-camp to Prince £ugcne, went through 
all the battles fought by that commander with the Turks, and was 
present at Pctrawardin and the siege of Belgrade. His long life 
extending to 1785, during which his powers of mind and body re- 
mained unimpaired, connects him with every period of the eighteenth 
century. An oflScer with Marlborough and Eugene, the defender of 
Atterbury, and immortalized in the familiar lines of Pope, his say- 
ings are also recorded by Bos well, he was the friend of Johnson, was 
sneered at by Walpole, after his death, for not living longer, and is 
even united to our own times by his appearance in the diary of Sam- 
uel Rogers, to whom he described the days when he had shot snipe 
in what is now Conduit Street in London. Such a life and such a 
career deserve a better relation than scanty materials have permitted ; 
but even with what remains, the brave soldier, and the honest, upright, 
kind-hearted gentleman, stands out clearly ; and in the early history 
of Georgia there is an abundance of information which exhibits him 
not only as a soldier, but as a strong leader and wise administrator. 
That Oglethorpe made mistakes is not only probable, but was inevita- 
ble; for, in addition to all that may be set down to human fallibili- 
ty under difficult circumstances, was the fact that he did his work 
under an impracticable system, and to further a generous but proba- 
bly impossible experiment. Yet, after every deduction has been made, 
he is a man whom any state might regard with reverence and admi- 
ration as its founder, first ruler, and defender. 

After his return from campaigning against the Turks with Prince 
Eugene, Oglethorpe was chosen to Parliament He was a use- 
ful and active member, a sensible and straightforward speaker, 
and was especially interested in what would now be called domestic 
reform. He did much for the relief of abuses, and his attention was 


at last drawn to the condition of the debtors' prisons. He obtained 
the appointment of a special committee, and their investiga- 
tions brought to light a state of affairs which was simply fright- 
ful. Prosecutions and legislation followed ; but Oglethorpe, not sat- 
isfied with this, devised a scheme for settling members of the debtor 
class in America, in the hope of giving these unfortunates an oppor- 
tunity to redeem their past, and at the same time relieve £ngland 
from the burden of their support. An association was formed, with 
a Board of Trustees, to serve without pay, and was incorporated for 
twenty-one years under a charter giving them all the territory be- 
tween the Savannah and the Altamaha. Upon these Trustees the 
power was confeiTcd to raise money by subscription, govern and de- 
fend the colony, make laws, and establish courts. The liberties, fran- 
chises, and immunities of citizens of Great Britain were guaranteed 
to the colonists, as well as liberty of conscience to all except Papists. 
The promoters of this benevolent scheme hoped to accomplish much 
by their enterprise. South Carolina was to be protected by the bar- 
rier of new settlements ; the improvident debtor was to be convert- 
ed into a producing and profitable subject; other oppressed people 
were to be invited to this haven of rest and prosperity ; independent 
settlers were to come over and form a class of large landholders, 
and bring servants with them ; Christianity was to be spread among 
the Indians, and silk, wine, oil, and dyestuffs were to be produced, 
which would vastly increase the wealth and aid the manufactures 
of the mother country. With such projects, visionary though they 
were, and with free passage and a gratuity of tools and lands, the 
Trustees had no lack of volunteers from whom to choose colonists. 
Thirty-five of the best and soberest families were selected, and under 
the charge of Oglethorpe, who had been made Governor and General, 
with full powers but no pay, they sailed from England in November, 

1732, and reached Charleston in the middle of the following 
1733. T ° 


The emigrants were warmly received in South Carolina, both by 
government and people ; and Oglethorpe at once made a journey to 
the south and selected a site for the settlement There, to a chosen 
spot, a bluff overlooking the river, Oglethorpe brought his company 
and founded the future city of Savannah. Under his energetic guid- 
ance rapid progress was made. Houses were built, supplies and mon- 
ey obtained, treaties made with the Indians, the town laid out in 
wards and tithings, courts established, and the land divided into lots. 


Ample provision was made for defence, and Fort Argjle was built on 
the Ogeechee as an outlying post Fresh colonists arrived, among 
them Jews, to whom the Tnistees made objection — the first indication 
of their narrow views. Money was voted by Parliament ; and in the 
following year came a ship-load of the oppressed and exiled Salz- 
burgers, who, under the lead of Oglethorpe, founded another town, 

to which they gave the name of £benezer. Everything had 

prospered with the new colony, and in May Oglethorpe re* 
turned to England, taking with him the Indian chief, TomochichL 
In the following year Oglethorpe returned at the head of what is 

known as the " grand emigration." The news of the success* 
1786? ^^^ beginnings of the colony had spread, and settlers came from 

among the Salzburgers and Moravians, as well as from Eng- 
land, many being of a better class than were the first beneficiaries of 
the Trustees. In this second emigration, too, came two more of those 
marked characters which have given a peculiar personal interest and 
animation to the early history of Georgia. Charles Wesley came out 
as Oglethorpe's secretary, and John Wesley as missionary to the In- 
dians. The former made trouble by slandering Oglethorpe, and by 
injudicious and factious meddling, while the latter embroiled the 
whole settlement by a love a£Eair in which he was disappointed, and 
by his zealous religious intolerance. The stay of the brothers in 
Georgia was brief, however, and their departure was a relief to the 
colony in which they had only made trouble. Their doings and 
sayings, and their contentions, form an interesting chapter in their 
biographies, and relieve the monotony of the early settlement; but 
they had no lasting influence or effect, and their sojourn in America 
was to them and to Georgia simply an episode, neither creditable nor 
important. John Wesley left the colony with an indictment for libel 
hanging over his head, and was replaced by an equally distinguished 
leader in the great religious movement of the century. This was 
George "Whitefield, who succeeded far better than his predecessor, and 
did much more as missionary and preacher; but he, too, came and 
went without leaving any enduring impress. 

Annoying as the Wesley s were, Oglethorpe brought two far more 
prolific sources of trouble than the future reformers. Parliament had 
seen fit to pass two acts, one excluding rum, the other slaves, from 
the new colony. The theory of these restrictions was sound enough ; 
but one was in its nature impossible, and the other was impracticable, 
not only because South Carolina employed slaves, but because it was 


uniyersally believed that Georgia could not be coltivated except by 
negro labor. Ram came in from the neighboring province as freely 
as ever, and evasion of the law was added to dnmkenness. Slaves, 
too, were smuggled in now and then, and the prohibition of slavery 
formed a normal grievance and subject of controversy, which became 
more and more serious as time went on. 

Oglethorpe found the colony much extended and improved, and 
set himself at once to work with his accustomed eneigy to still fur- 
ther strengthen and spread the settlements. He superintended the 
removal of the Salzburgers to a new place, extended and confirmed 
the Indian treaties, established a trading -post at Augusta, and 
strengthened the Scotch colony at Darien. His principal work, 
however, was to found Fredcrica, and establish there a portion of his 
new emigrants. This was a task of considerable difficulty, and while 
the new settlement was in its infancy Oglethorpe was in constant fear 
of a Spanish attack, which would have ruined the colony and cost 
him his life. By a mixture of strategy and audacity, however, he suc- 
ceeded in warding o£E the danger. He had an indecisive interview 
with the Spanish commissioner, upon whom he imposed by a show 
of force, and gained time to form some defences ; and after settUng a 
variety of vexatious disputes at Savannah, he again returned to Eng- 
land in order to obtain troops, for he plainly perceived that the col- 
ony, in its weak state, would quickly fall before a Spanish invasion. 

On his arrival in England, he found abundance to do in dealing 
with the question of the Indian trade, which had come to an issue be- 
tween South Carolina and Georgia, and which was mixed up with seiz- 
ures of South Carolina rum by the Savannah magistrates. He had 
also to repel the calumnies spread against him by opponents in the 
colony, and settle the difficulties raised by the Wesleys. He steadily 
persevered, too, in his main purpose of procuring aid to defend the col- 
ony, and was appointed General for Georgia by the King, and given 
authority to raise a regiment This he at once proceeded to do, and, . 
besides some regular troops sent from Gibraltar, he raised a force of 
six hundred men, with which he returned to Georgia. These 
troops were allowed to take their families, in order to induce 
them to settle in the province, and there were, besides a number of 
officers, young volunteere of good family. 

These re-enforcements came none too soon, for the relations be- 
tween England and Spain had become very strained, and a rupture 
was imminent Oglethorpe immediately strengthened his posts ev- 


erywbere, and opened a road from Frederica to the sea-forts, where he 
shrewdly perceived the decisive struggle would come. He then pass- 
ed some time at Savannah, where there was much disorder and fac- 
tion. He removed the Gompany^s store-keeper, who had been comtpt 
and extravagant, retrenched expenditures, and reorganized the militia. 
His most important act, however, was a visit to the Creeks and Cher- 
okees; He succeeded in checking Spanish intrigues, and in gaining 
great influence over these tribes, which he never lost, and in binding 
them firmly to the English alliance. The next effort of the Spaniards 
was to stir up a negro insurrection in South Carolina which proved 
very formidable, but was finally put down by the exertions of the 
government, and by Oglethorpe's activity in stopping the runaways. 
This attack and the murders of soldiers at ontlying posts, as well as 
the news from England, decided Oglethorpe that the time had 
come for energetic measures, and he accordingly made a sol- 
emn declaration of war at Savannah. 

The winter passed in raising and disposing troops, preparing forts, 
summoning Indians, and in an occasional incursion into Florida, and 
in the spring Admiral Vernon appeared with the English fleet Some 
ships were detached, and a combined attack was made under Ogle- 
thorpe on St. Augustine. After a few slight successes everything 
went wrong ; the Indians deserted, some of the troops were cut ofE, 
ships got in and relieved the town, and Oglethorpe had finally to 
withdraw, and bear the loud censure of the naval officers, and 
of the South Carolinians, who were chiefly to blame by their 
delays. This unlucky expedition, considering the undoubted military 
abilities of the commander, can only be explained by a lack of cohe- 
sion among the troops, and an apparent failure on the part of Ogle- 
thorpe, despite strenuous exertions and great gallantry, to show his 
usual foresight. The invasion, although a failure, had one good re- 
sult, for it put the Spaniards on the defensive, and gave the colony 
peace for two years. In this inteiTal Oglethorpe had time to regu- 
late the internal affairs of his government, which were loose and dis- 
ordered, as they always became except when under his immediate su- 
pervision. The plan of a colony as a charitable institution did not, in 
fact, work well ; the rule of the Trustees was feeble and injudicious, 
and the settlements did not grow as they would have done under a 
firmer government. 

Having regulated matters at Savannah, Oglethorpe returned to 
Frederica, now a neatly and strongly built town of about a thousand 


inhabitants ; and here he established his head-quarters, and devoted 
himself to further improvements in the defences. He suffered con- 
tinual annoyance from the factions at Savannah, who took advantage 
of the unpopularity of the slave and liquor laws to violate them, and 
to intrigue against and abuse the Governor ; and he was still further 
troubled by the schemes and quarrels of Whitefield, who, both by his 
preaching and by his orphan asylum, succeeded in keeping the colony 
in a state of ferment Oglethorpe carried himself and his government 
through these difficulties with a steady hand, and remained at his post 
preparing for the Spanish attack which he foresaw would be attempted. 
At last news began to come of the preparations of the Spaniards, 
and Oglethorpe sent to South Carolina and to Admiral Vernon for 
aid. No help came; but in the summer of 1742 the Span- 
iards, with five thousand men from Florida and Havana, and 
a fleet of thirty vessels, appeared off St. Simon's Island, and threat- 
ened Frcderica. Oglethorpe called in all his troops, but could only 
muster eight hundred men, and with these he determined to defend 
himself to the last extremity. His first feat was to carry relief to 
one of the sea-forts, forcing his way in two galleys through the Span- 
ish fleet, sinking four of their galleys, and returning in safety. This 
exploit greatly encouraged the troops, and a stubborn resistance was 
made to the passage of the sound by a few vessels, and by the shore 
batteries. When the Spaniards at last got through, Oglethorpe fell 
back in good order on Frederica, and his carefully planned defences 
now stood him in good stead. The Spaniards, unable to reach the 
town by sea, landed troops, and advanced on the road cut by Ogle- 
thorpe. The English troops fled at the Spanish advance ; but a de- 
tachment of Highlanders and Indians, concealing themselves in the 
woods, fell upon the Spaniards in the rear as they were resting, and 
routed them with terrible slaughter, Oglethorpe appearing with the 
other troops, which he had rallied, just at the moment of victory. 
This disaster caused dissensions among the Spaniards, and Oglethorpe, 
assuming the aggressive, harassed them without mercy, and finally, by 
a well-conceived stratagem, and by the fortunate appearance of some 
English vessels, deceived them into the belief that heavy re-enforce- 
ments were at hand, and had the satisfaction of seeing them take to 
their ships in a panic and sail away. Thus Oglethorpe saved two 
provinces to England by as gallant fighting and shrewd generalship 
as the whole history of the American colonies can show. In the fol- 
lowing year he again assumed the offensive, and carried the war into 



Florida with his faithful Indians and Highlanders, even to the walls of 
St. Augustine, reducing the Spaniards to a state of timorous 
defence. He soon after left Georgia, never to return ; and 
on his arrival in England, having refuted various caluninious charges 
made against him by one of his officers, and by the South Carolini- 
ans, who had used him very badly, he was promoted to be a lieuten- 
ant-general. Thus closed Oglethorpe's career in America; and few 
men have ever rendered better service to their own country, or to the 
commonwealths they have founded. 

The colony, however, in spite of Oglethorpe's exertions, had not 
thriven. The policy of the Trustees had been a narrow and mistaken 
one. The Rum Act had been a constant source of trouble, discontent, 
and corruption on the part of the magistrates, and was at last repealed 
in 1742. The tenure of land had been made tl^at of tail-male, with 
close restrictions on alienation, and this had led to much discontent, 
to opposition, petitions, and resistance, until a more liberal tenure was 
granted in 1739. In the matter of slaves, the course of events was 
somewhat similar. The Highlanders and Salzburgcrs were opposed to 
the introduction of negroes, but the landholders and planters at Savan- 
nah were most eager for them. Petitions for the introduction of slaves 
began to come in 1735; but, although the Trustees had no objection 
to modified white slavery in the way of indented servants, they held 
firm against negroes. On this subject feeling soon ran high, and all 
the elements of opposition united against the Trustees with a bitter 
and factious hostility, which gave Oglethorpe great trouble, and final- 
ly reached such a point that the quari'el became the subject of Parlia- 
mentary investigation. Parliament exonerated the Trustees, ordered 
the repeal of the Rum Act, but refused to meddle with that against 
slavery. The struggle was then renewed both in Georgia and Eng- 
land, and became so bitter as to threaten the very existence of the 
coloAy. At last, in 1749, in the face of the popular demand and of 
the constant violation of the law, the Trustees gave way and admit- 
ted slaves, but under humane restrictions. The system of government 
by bailiffs, magistrates, and town courts proved a failure also, after 
causing much bickering and faction, and was changed to government 
by a President and assistants. 

On Oglethorpe's departure, William Stephens, the secretary, was 

made President, and continued in office until 1751, when he 

was succeeded by Henry Parker. The colony, when Stephens 

came into office, comprised about fifteen hundred persons. It was al- 


most at a stand-still. The brilliant prospects of the early days were 
dissipated, and immigration had ceased, thanks to the narrow policy 
and feeble government of the Trustees. An Indian rising, in 1749, 
headed by Mary Mosgrove, Oglethorpe's Indian interpreter, and her 
husband, one Bosomworth, who laid claim to the whole country, came 
near causing the destruction of the colony, and was only repressed by 
much negotiation and lavish bribes. 

The colony, thus feeble and threatened, struggled on, until it was 
relieved from danger from the" Indians and from the restrictive laws, 
and encouraged by the appointment of Parker, and the establishment 
of a representative government This produced a turn in the affairs 
of Georgia. Trade revived, immigration was renewed, and every- 
thing began to wear again a more hopeful look. Just at this time, 
however, the original trust was on the point of expiring by limitation. 
There was a party in the colony who desired a renewal of the char- 
ter ; but the Trustees felt that their scheme had failed in every way, 
except perhaps as a defence to South Carolina, and when the limit of 
the chai-ter was reached, they turned the colony over to the 
Crown. Georgia then piassed from the stage of philanthropic 
experiment into the normal condition of a Crown province, after the 
fashion of most of the American colonies, and according to the laws 
which had governed the development of all the British possessions 
in America, no matter what their origin had been. 

A form of governmf^nt was established similar to those of the other 
royal provinces, and Captain John Reynolds was sent out as 
* the first Governor, and was joyfully received by the inhabi- 
tants. The new Governor was somewhat dismayed at the wifetched 
appearance of the colony, but set to work to survey and improve the 
forts and other defences, established a judicial syartem, and called to- 
gether an Assembly. This last act was the signal for immediate con- 
tention. In the first Assembly the trouble was caused by a faction ; 
and the quarrel which concerned the Indian trade almost reached 
the dimensions of a revolt After this, matters went from bad to 
worse, the fault now being on the side of the Governor, who fell un- 
der the influence of the secretary, a corrupt and intriguing politician ; 
and this resulted in so much oppression and extortion, and the com- 
plaints of the colonists became so repeated and loud, that Reynolds 
was at last recalled, and succeeded by Henry Ellis as Lieu- 
tenant-governor. The change proved fortunate, and brought 
rest to the colony. Ellis ruled peaceably and with general respect 


far more than two years, and was then promoted to the governor- 
ship of Nova Scotia. In the same year his saccessor arrived 
at Savannah, in th5 person of James Wright, who continned 
to govern the province nntil it was severed from England by the 

The feebleness of Ckorgia had prevented her taking part in the 
union of the colonies, and she was not represented in the Congress at 
Albany. Georgia also escaped the ravages of the French war, partly 
by her distant situation, and partly by the prudence of Governor Ellis ; 
and the conclusion of that war gave Florida to England, and relieved 
the colony from the continual menace of Spanish aggression. A great 
Congress of southern Governors and Indian chiefs followed, in which 
Wright, more active than his predecessor, took a prominent 
part Under his energetic and firm rule, the colony began 
to prosper greatly, and trade increased rapidly ; but the Governor 
gained at the same time so much influence, and was a man of so much 
address, that he not only held the colony down at the time of the 
Stamp Act, but seriously hampered its action in the year's which led 
to revolution. When the circular from Massachusetts arrived re- 
garding the Stamp Act Congress, it met with general favor in the As- 
sembly and among the people ; for there was deep and bitter opposi- 
tion here as elsewhere to the new policy of taxation. Wiight, how- 
ever, succeeded in preventing the sending of delegates to New 
York, and crippled the action of Georgia, reducing it to a mere 
expression of good intentions. In the months of excitement which 
ensued, great disorder prevailed ; armed bands appeared at various 
points ; there were mobs in Savannah, and serious attacks meditated 
upon the fort and the Governor's house ; but Wright proved equal to 
the emei^ency. With a mere handful of troops, he kept the peace, 
avoided bloodshed, and although obliged to remove the stamps to the 
British man-of-war in the river, he compelled their nse in clearing 
vessels, a proceeding which caused deep indignation in South Caro- 
lina and elsewhere. The repeal of the Stamp Act brought a tempo- 
rary calm ; but (Georgia, although unrepresented at New York, and 
although the youngest and weakest of the provinces, was drawn into 
the general current, and when the next circular letter came 
from Massachusetts, was prepared to enter into conflict with 
her adroit Governor, and take a part in the history of the united col- 
onies and in the national movement. 


Chapter X. 


The lato settlement of Georgia, and its nse as a field for the trial 
of philanthropic experiments, rendered society there, at the time of 
the Revolution, extremely crade and unformed, and in the country 
districts rude and wild. It was on the South Carolina model, but 
had neither the stability nor the well-defined features of its older and 
stronger neighbor. 

So long as the province continued in the hands of the Trustees its 
progress was extremely slow, and sometimes totally arrested. The 
population, when Georgia passed to the Crown, did not amount to 
five thousand whites, and slaves had been excluded by the policy of 
the Trustees. With the establishment of the royal government, and 
especially after the treaty of Paris, slaves were imported in great 
numbers, and the white immigration assumed large proportions. Just 
previous to the Revolution the population had risen to over fifty thou- 
sand souls, of whom one-half at least were slaves.^ The character of 
the white population was not so good as in many of the other colo- 
nies. Among the first settlers there were, of course, some men of 
good substance, who came out at their own expense, but the great 
body of immigrants were taken from the debtors' prisons in accord- 
ance with the humane objects of the Trustees. Some of the persons 
thus released made tho best of their opportunities, and did well in 
their new home ; but many were either vitiated by the prison life, or 
were by nature shiftless, bankrupt adventurers, who were an injury to 
any society, and especially to one just founded and struggling for 
existence. The servants, too, were the scum of the London streets, 
and, nnrestrained by the severe laws in vogue elsewhere, ran away to 
South Carolina and Florida, or lurked in tho woods and on the boun- 

' Bancroft, ir., 127, note ; Smjtb, 11, 46 ; Georgia Hist Soc. OolL, iu., Sir James 
Wright's Account 


dary-lines, and preyed upon society. Gradually better elements be- 
gan to come. There were Scotch settlements at Darien and Frederi- 
ca ; some thriving villages of Salzburgers, and later descendants of the 
Puritans, who had settled in Soath Carolina in 1697 ; while a Jewish 
immigratioe, which began with promise, was checked by the Trustees. 
After the establishment of the royal government, immigration in- 
creased and improved. A large body of Quakers came in 1763, 
besides the usual and valuable settlers always attracted by the profits 
promised in agriculture and trade.^ 

The government founded by the Trustees was one in name alone. 
There was in reality no general government The towns either bad 
so government at all, or were organized according to the taste of the 
inhabitants. Savannah had bailiffs and recorder, and her govern- 
ment was thoroughly bad. The Salzburgers had in their villages a 
semi-religious system, with large tracts of communal land held by the 
Church, while at Sunbury the government was on the New England 
model. The legislation of the Trustees was chiefly concerned with 
matters of police, and had a general character of philanthropic med- 
dling. Their policy of prohibiting rum and negroes, based on moral 
views, and on the scheme of making the colony a sort of half mili- 
tary outpost, was highly distasteful to their subjects, who grumbled 
that the loss of the former destroyed their trade, and the want of the 
latter made agriculture impossible. In this way the Trustees became 
terribly unpopular. Their cattle were killed, their laws evaded, and 
their high quit-rents avoided. A war of pamphlets ensued, political 
faction ran high, all progress was stayed ; until at last the Trustees, in 
disgust, handed over their charter to the Crown, and Geoi^ia entered 
upon a career of prosperity.' 

The first Assembly, which met at Savannah in the year 1751, seems 
to have been little more than a grand-jury elected to make presenta- 
tions of grievances to the Council ; but a few years later the govern- 
ment of the Crown was organized on the usual model. There was a 
Governor possessing the customary powers, a Council which sat as an 

' Smyth, ii., 41; Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia; Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 
24 ; Georgia Hist. Soc. Coll., Stephens's State of the Province ; Ibid., A Brief Ac- 
count, p. 97 ; Lee's History of Savannah ; Rochefoucauld, i., 604 ; Graham^s United 

' Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia, pp. 23, 146 ; Georgia Hist. CoU., i.. Brief Ac- 
count, p. 07; Ibid., True and Hist Narratives, p. 195; Ibid., Trustees^ Account; 
Lee*8 Savannah, p. 8, 1734 ; Stephens's Journal, i., 169. 


Upper House, and an Assembly. All execatire and judicial officers 
were appointed by the Crown, and paid fixed salaries by the British 
government The delegates were required to own five hundred acres 
of land, and were chosen by the freeholders, the suffrage being con- 
fined to those who were proprietors of fifty acres or a town lot.' 

The Governor was chancellor, and sat with the Council as a court 
of chancery and of admiralty. There was also a general court of 
common-pleas, county courts, and local justices* courts. An appeal 
could be carried to the Governor if involving more than three hun- 
dred, and to the King in Council if more than five hundred pounds.' 

The militia of the colony, owing to its exposed situation, was effec- 
tive, and included all males between sixteen and sixty. Taxation was 
light Quit-rents w^re paid to the King, and revenues raised on rum, 
negroes, and West India produce, supplemented by a small direct tax 
on lands, houses, and slaves. The salaries were few and small, and the 
necessary charges of government not above four thousand pounds, 
while the militia were thriftily required to furnish themselves with 
arms and clothing.' 

The philanthropy of the Trustees had an effect upon the material 
growth of the colony no less depressing than upon its political devel- 
opment They wished to achieve the impossible, to form a communi- 
ty, and establish methods and habits wholly at variance with the con- 
ditions of climate and soil. They sought to build up a society living 
in towns, and consisting of small freeholders, after the New England 
fashion in the tropical region of Georgia. To prevent the formation 
of large estates, they made grants of only fifty acres and a town lot 
to each settler in tail-male, with reversion to the Trustees, and a special 
license was further required for the alienation of any estate in land. 
This arrangement led to frauds and dissatisfaction, crippled the activ- 
ity, and cooled the interest of the colonists, and was finally abandoned 
by its projectors.* In the same spirit they interfered with the natural 
course of agriculture and industry. They obliged the Salzburgers to 
maintain the culture of silk, considerable quantities of which were made 
and exported, and which was sustained at Ebenezer even down to the 

> Georgia Hist. Soc. ColL, lii., Sir James Wright's A.ccount ; Lee's Hist of Savan- 
nah ; Hildreth, ii., 464. 

» Sir James Wright, ibid. ; Hildreth, ii., 454. • Sir James Wright, ibid. 

^ Georgia Hist Soc. Coll., i., 25 ; Ibid., Impartial Inquiry, p. 166 ; Ibid., ii., 92, 
A Brief Account; Ibid., Trustees' Account; Moore's Voyage to Georgia, p. 24 ; 
Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia, p. 145. 


Revolution by bounties. But tbe manufacture was carried on at a loss, 
and when state aid was withdrawn this always languishing industry 
speedily expired. In a similar way they strove to enforce the plant- 
ing of vineyards and the production of oil, and not wholly without 
success ; but both ultimately shared the fate of the silk-worm, and 
were too artificial to have any real prosperity.* For moral purposes 
they prohibited the importation of negroes, whose labor was essential 
in that latitude, and of rum, which injured the trade with the West 
Indies. Both prohibitions were evaded by encouraging and receiving 
runaways from South Carolina, and by the open sale of tbe forbidden 
liquor, and thus a contempt for law was engendered as well as gen- 
eral discontent.' The general result of this whole system was that 
trade stagnated, and the small plantations failed.' 

Under the royal government these restrictions disappeared, rapid 
progress began, and at the time of the Revolution the exports and 
imports were worth one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.* The 
trade was principally with Great Britain, but there was also a fair traf- 
fic with the West Indies. The land was being rapidly cleared and oc- 
cupied, and the colony had settled down to the production of rice, in- 
digo, lumber, and skins obtained by a lucrative and active trade with 
the Indians. Cattle had become numerous and valuable, and cheese 
and butter were made, instead of being imported from the north. 
They still depended on the Middle States for flour, which drained them 
of specie ; and although they grew cotton, only a small portion was 
spun by the Scotch settlers for domestic use. They had no manufact- 
ures of any sort, but were wholly dependent on the mother countiy 
— a misfortune common to all the southern group — and no mines had 
been opened. Despite these drawbacks, however, and an agriculture 
much lower than that of South Carolina, Georgia was prosperous, and 
the employment of over two hundred vessels, of which thirty-six were 
owned in the colony, was a sure sign of active and profitable commerce.* 

The towns were, of course, insignificant, although Savannah gave 

^ Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia, p. 23 ; Stephens's Journal, iii., 186 ; Hist. Coll., 
i., 26. 

' Hist. Ck)ll., !., p. 25 ; Ibid., ii., True and Hist. Narrative ; Stephens*s Journal, L, 
169, 278. s Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia, pp. 23, 145. 

* Smyth, ii., 60 ; Hist Coll., iii., Sir James Wright*s Account. 

* Bartram's Travels, p. 19; Smyth, ii., 44, 45, 63 ; Jones, Dead Towns of Geor- 
gia, pp. 28, 146 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 609 ; Hist Coll., iii., Sir James Wright's Ac- 
count; Lee's History of Savannah. 


promise of growth and importance. At the time of the Revolution 
it was a pretty country town of some twelve hundred inhabitants, 
with laige, cool houses, built of wood, and separated by open spaces 
of garden or field. Sunbury, founded by the New England immi- 
grants, came next, with about a thousand inhabitants, and a good 
share of the commerce ; but it had already begun to decline in im- 
portance, although it still retained its character for a polite and edu- 
cated society of wealthy planters and farmers. Augusta, above Savan- 
nah, at the head of navigation, was a straggling but thriving village, 
where the Indian trade centred. The chief seat of the Salzburgers 
at Ebenezer was a mere hamlet ; and the Scotch settlement at Fred- 
erica, a neat, busy little town in the early days, when it was an out- 
post, had been almost deserted after the withdrawal of the troops.^ 

It is obvious that there was nothing in Georgia which conld be 
properly called town life. Almost every one was a small farmer or 
planter, and large estates were comparatively rare. In the neighbor- 
hood of Savannah and along the coasts were many pretty plantations, 
some of which possessed large houses, and displayed the Virginian 
magnificence, bnt on all the owners led an easy, tranquil existence. 
In the back districts, then being rapidly settled, the life was much 
Tuder, more isolated, and, owing to the proximity of Spaniards and 
Indians, very dangerous. Men went to church armed, and a trip to 
Savannah was a great event, as the only mode of travel was on horse- 
back, whether for business or pleasure. Gigs were not introduced un- 
til after the Revolution, and the infrequent mail was carried through 
the province by riders. Among the planters of the better sort much 
time was given to the simple amusements of fishing, sailing, hunting, 
and riding; while as early as the year 1748 horse-races were estab- 
lished at Savannah, betting began, and a club was founded. The 
gambling, once started, took a strong hold upon the people, if we may 
judge from the laws against betting, gaming, and lotteries. Gambling 
brawls were common, and there was not only a good deal of fighting 
whenever any gathering occurred, but the brutal practice of gonging 
was so mach indulged in that it was found necessary to make the pil- 
lory and lashes the punishment for the first, and death the penalty for 
the second offence.' 

" Smyth, ii., 44 ; Moore's Voyage, p. 24 ; Jonee, Dead Towns of Georgia, p. 28 ; 
Hist Coll., iv., Itinerant Observations, p. 18 ; Lee's History of Savannah. 

• Jones, Dead Towns of Georgia, pp. 28, 146 ; Georgia Laws, 1764, 1770, 1777, 
1787 ; Stephens's Journal, i., 829 ; il., 421 ; Memoirs of Elkanab Watson. 


Among the whites of Georgia there were no well-defined cksses. 
The great majority of the inhabitants belonged probably to the mid- 
dle class — ^as known in Virginia — and were not distinctive or pecaliar 
in any way. The system they had founded was unfinished and crude, 
but it was essentially aristocratic in theory, and could develop only into 
an aristocracy. This was, of course, determined by the introduction of 
slavery under the royal government As soon as the blacks became nu- 
merous and important, legislation was framed upon the ferocious model 
of South Carolina, the code of Georgia being little more than a repe- 
tition of that of the older colony. Patrols were established to search 
the negro quarters for arms, beat stray blacks, and break up their 
meetings. Slaves could not leave the plantations without a ticket, 
nor travel in companies of more than seven ; and any one who vent- 
ured to teach them to write incurred a heavy penalty. The punish- 
ment for striking a white, if it was a second offence, was death. 
Slavery was said to be milder in Georgia than in South Carolina, but 
the theory of their position was the same, and they probably fared 
little better, on the whole. It is certain that they were wretchedly 
fed, clothed, and housed.^ The indented servants, after the royal gov- 
ernment came in, differed in no respect from those of the other col- 
onies.' These servile elements furnished the criminal class, which was 
numerous, and dangerous, out of proportion to the size of the colony, 
being augmented by runaway servants and slaves from the other prov- 
inces, who escaped into Spanish territory, mingled with the Indians, 
and were a source of constant peril and fear to the outlying planta- 
tions. These vagabonds, when captured, received a full allowance of 
whipping, branding, and pillory for their robberies and cattle liftings; 
but the situation of Georgia, at the extremity of a line of slave states, 
made even the worst punishments ineffective in reducing the number 
of criminals or the frequency of crime.* 

The youth and unsettled condition of the colony had, of course, 
been unfavorable to religion and education. The religious sects va- 
ried from the little spiritual tyranny of the Salzbui^gers to the English 
Church, and the early history of religion in Georgia is one of utter 
confusion and pointless wrangling. Members of every known sect 
almost — Roman Catholics alone excepted — when they arrived found 

> Georgia Laws, 1766, 1778; Rochefoucauld,!., 609; Memoirs of Elkanah Wat- 
' Georgia Laws, 1762 ; Stephens^s Journal, i., 889. 
* Georgia Laws, 1778; Stephens's Journal, L, 857,486. 


themselves cod fronted by Wesley, with his dictatorial ways and bitter 
hostility to dissenters. The royal government produced a certain calm, 
and the Church of England was duly erected, vestries formed, and taxes 
authorized for the support of the clergy ; and in the toleration toward 
all faiths, as well as in the general tone of ecclesiastical legislation, we 
see both the numerical strength of the dissenters and the infiuence of 
the Puritan element All persons were compelled to attend church ; , 
work and play were forbidden ; taverns were closed on the Sabbath ; ■ 
and the constables, in true New England fashion, were directed to patrol 
the town on Sunday morning, and sec that these laws were enforced 
and all delinquents punished. Tlie Church went on smoothly enough 
until the Revolution, and then was abandoned as a state instit:ation.' 
Unimportant as were the clergy, and wholly devoid of influence, the 
case in regard to education was even worse. Itinerant school-mas- 
ters, who never stayed in any one place more than three months, were 
loose characters, and habitually and proverbially drunk, had a noionop- 
oly of teaching, and nothing else was offered by state or individuals in 
the cause of education.' After the Revolution a state university was 
established, and the New England spirit, still lingering among the set- 
tlers, founded the Sunbury Academy ; but, in the colonial period, the 
illiteracy in Georgia v;as necessarily extreme, and few persons were 
wealthy enough to relieve the general ignorance by obtaining for 
their sons a foreign education. There was no literature whatever, 
except the spicy and vigorous pamphlets called out in the early days 
by the Oglethorpe controversy, when none of the writers were na- 
tives. A printing-press and the Georgia Gazette were established at 
Savannah in the year 1763, but this was all that was effected for the 
diffusion of knowledge.' 

The general political tendencies of the colonists did not differ much 
from those of their neighbors ; but there was more loyalty and de- 
pendence upon the Crown than elsewhere, on account of the weak- 
ness caused by recent settlement. The movement against Great Brit- 
ain started with the New England element at Sunbury, in St John's 
parish ; and this small faction finally succeeded in breaking down the 
control so long maintained by Sir James Wright, and in carrying the 

» Georgia Laws, 1758, 1762, 1778 ; Hist. Coll., ii., 92, Brief Account ; Ibid., True 
and Historical Narrative, p. 195 ; Stephens's Journal, iii., 101. 
* Miller's Bar and Bench of Georgia, i., 856. 
' Tyler's American Literature ; Lee's History of Savannah. 


colony over to the patriot canse.' Bat there was much lukewarmness 
among the people. The Germans were generally on the patriotic 
side, but they were not enthusiastic, and a vigorous Tory party was 
developed as the war progressed. The withdrawal of the strong hand 
of England, and the conquest of independence, showed at once the 
crude and unformed state of society, and that Geoigia had not fairly 
icmcTged from the first stage of settlement For many years the gov- 
ernment was ill-regulated and unsettled, and there was much faction 
and disorder ; while the back settlers were rough and lawless, and made 
continual inroads upon Florida.' From this social and political im- 
maturify, Georgia played but an insignificant part either in Congress 
or in the war, and produced but few able men. It was long before 
she reached the position or gained the weight to which she was en- 
titled by her extensive territory and great natural resources. 

^ Jones, Bead Towns of Georgia. * Rochefoucauld, i., 604. 


Chapter XL 

DELAWARE FROM 1609 TO 1682. 

Three kindred people from the north of Europe contended for 
the possession of the noble bay and river of Delaware, and of the 
great re^on which is now occupied by three States. The Dutch were 
the first discoverers, and they were also the first settlers, when a por- 
tion of the company which came out with May landed about four miles 
below the present city of Philadelphia. This post, established, as all 
the early Dutch settlements were, for trade, languished, and the 
North River proved more profitable than the South. On the 
establishment of the Patroons, private enterprise made another attempt 
to found a colony upon the Delaware, Heyes acting for the Patroons. 
The settlement of Swaanendael was begun, and a fort built 
near the site of the present town of Lewiston ; but the de- 
struction of a tin plate, bearing the arms of Holland, led to a foolish 
quarrel with the Indians ; the colonists were massacred, and the settle- 
ment destroyed. "When De Vries came out the following year with 
additional men and supplies, he found only ruins and skele- 
tons. He sadly concluded a peace with the murderers of his 
colonists, and set about retrieving his fortunes by trade and whale- 
fishery. De Yries went also to the original settlement at Fort Nas- 
sau, now deserted and neglected, and, after a visit to Virginia, aban- 
doned his whale-fishery and sailed away. After his departure, a pause 
ensued in Dutch colonization on the Delaware ; but the efforts were 
soon renewed. A house was ordered to be built at Fort Nassau, and 
soon after the Copipany bought out the Patroons, and took possession 
of the South River. Their hold, however, was nominal and precarious. 
Already the future masters of the continent had turned their eyes to 
the r^on of the Delaware, and a party from Yir^nia seized the vacant 
Dutch fori They were speedily expelled by its rightful own- 
ers, who continued in possession until a third nation sent forth 
its colonists to share in the vast country held by Holland. 




The great Swedish king had perceived, many years before, the 
nefeessity and value of colonies in the New World, and, per- 
iSsel s^^^®^ ^y ^^^ Amsterdam merchant Usselincx, founded, after 
the Dutch fashion, a Swedish West Indian Company. But 
greater matters required the attention of the Northern races. The 
battles of Protestantism were to be fought upon the plains of Ger- 
many, and when Gustavus Adolphus fell at Lutzen, Swedish coloniza- 
tion in America was still unrealized. Oxenstiem, the heir of the pol- 
icy of Gustavus, if not of his throne, revived the scheme soon 

1A33 J . ' ' 

after his master^s death, and invited the co-operation of Ger- 
many, but nothing was effected ; and it was not until four years had 
passed that Peter Minuit, ex -director of the Dutch West In- 
dian Company, headed the first Swedish expe<lition to Ameri- 
ca. A settlement was made on the Minquas, near the present 8it« of 
Wilmington, and Fort Christina was built, while the Dutch, 
through the mouth of Governor Kief t, protested, after their 
usual fashion. They had watched their South River territory, al- 
though they had not used it; but they confined themselves to pro- 
tests, for it was at that time neither desirable nor safe to meddle with 
Sweden, governed by statesmen and generals who had been trained 
by Gustavus Adolphus. The Swedes, meantime, treated the Indians 
well, and relied upon deeds from them as their only title to possession. 
Although the governing power was in the hands of a commercial 
monopoly, and under government patronage, the colonists were well 
treated. Minuit started a lively trade in furs and other products of 
the country, and after a winter of privation, fresh settlers, including 
many Dutchmen, arrived, and the colony prospered and grew 
strong. Minuit died not long after the establishment of his 
colony, and was succeeded by a Swede, one Hollandaere, who was fol- 
lowed by the most noted of the Swedish Governors, John 
Printz, renowned for his violent temper, his great bulk, and 
his fighting propensities. 

During Hollandaere^s administration came the first intimation to 
the South River colony of the existence of the race destined to be- 
come their rulers, and the owners of their territery. The restless peo- 
ple of New England, though hardly yet fixed in their own homes, had 
already begim to cast longing eyes abroad. They had ruined the 
Duteh on the Connecticut, and they now prepared to get a 
share in the trade and lands of the Middle States. An expe- 
dition from New Haven sailed up the South River, and founded two 


settlements. lostinctively aware that these intraders were a com- 
inon foe, Dutch and Swedes united and broke np the English posts. 
The confederated colonics of New England remonstrated, and fresh 
trading parties issued from Connecticut ; but Printz, who had arrived 
in the mean time, and built a fort, besides a fine house for himself — 
"Printz Hair* — and founded a new settlement at Tinicum, twelve 
miles below Philadelphia, was not the man to stand such intrusion. 
The New England ships were fired on, and their crews imprisoned. 
Again the Confederacy remonstrated, only to be met with a denial 
of violence from Printz. Englishmen were driven from Delaware, for 
the time at least 

Printz was, however, as determined and aggressive toward the Dutch 
as he had been to the New Englanders, and his perpetual interfer- 
ence with the Dutch at Fort Nassau led at last to an open 
breach between the nations. The Swedes, however, were in 
the ascendant, and controlled the trade of the river. The power of 
the Dutch was at a low point, and their Scandinavian rivals threaten- 
ed to become the possessors of the great regions of the Delaware. 
This state of affairs lasted for some years, and the only settlement 
possible was by force ' of anns. Stuyvesant, who succeeded Eieft, 
was of a very different temper from his predecessor, arid determined 
to vindicate Dutch authority everywhere ; so as soon as he could find 
time from the pressing affairs of New Amsterdam, he turned his at- 
tention to the South River, and built below the Swedish forts 
Fort Casimir, thus gaining control of navigation, and disposing 
effectually of foreign interference. Printz, perplexed by the gathering 
difficulties, and unpopular from his stem rule and violent tem- 
per, returned to Sweden, leaving the government with his son- 
in-law, John Pappcgoia. Soon after came a Swedish vessel-of-war, 
commanded by John Rysingh, who landed near Fort Casimir, made 
himself master of the place, and expelled the Dutch without 
bloodshed. Rysingh then assumed the government of the col- 
ony, and set about extending and consolidating the Swedish power, 
now in appearance stronger than ever before. But the appearance 
was deceptive and short-lived. Stuyvesant seized a vessel laden with 
stores for Sweden, quietly prepared an overwhelming force for 
the reduction of the South River settlements, and in early au- 
tumn sailed from New York with an army of six or seven hundred 
men. Fort Casimir capitulated at once at sight of the Dutch, and 
Stuyvesant, marching on, compelled Rysingh to surrender Fort Chris- 


tiDO.. The Swedes were ootniimbered and overawed. There was no 
bloodshed ; private property was respected, and the inhabitants were 
merely required to swear allegiance to the States-Greneral Thus fell 
the Swedish empire in America. Holland was supreme upon the Del- 
aware and upon the Hudson. One of the Northern races had been 
conquered, and only two remained to contest the dominion of the 
continent. Sweden complained, as Holland had done years before ; 
but the positions of the two nations were now reversed. Complaints 
were not listened to at the Hague, and Sweden henceforth could do 
no more for her colonists than send out faithful ministers to encour- 
age them in the maintenance of their religion. 
A year after the conquest, the West India Company sold the Dela- 
ware region to the city of Amsterdam. The municipality at 
once took possession of their property, sent out a governor 
and a body of emigrants, who, on arrival, named Fort Casimir New 
Amstel, and took possession of it, while the Company retained 
Fort Christina and the northern settlement on the Delaware. 
At first the new colony planted by the Amsterdam burghers flour- 
ished ; but sickness and bad crops came, and, despite fresh immigra- 
tion, the new settlement had a hard stmggle for existence. Harsh 
measures on the part of the city, suspicion and desertion among the 
inhabitants, combined with outbursts of famine and disease, gave the 
fertile region an evil name, and brought New Amstel to a low point; 
while their diflSculties were still further aggravated by troubles with 
Maryland. Boundaries too were sources of disturbance, and mmors^ 
came of armed English invasion. Stuyvcsant sent troops, and nego- 
tiated successfully; but the external pressure was a fresh cause of 
alarm, and the new director, Hinoyossa, of discontent, while the 
proposed rctransfer to the Company gave good ground for re- 
newed popular distinst Matters went on in this way, with the colony 
thriving at last, and trade increasing, but with the director constantly 
quarrelling with the Company's agent, until at last the whole South 
River territory was surrendered to the city. This needed 
change had hardly been accomplished, when the whole fabric of 
government was overthrown by the English. The rule of the Dutch 
had been sufficiently uneasy, but the Swedes were fully avenged when 
Robert Carr, one of the royal commissioners, appeared in the South 
River to complete the seizure of the Dutch possessions in the name 
of the Duke of York. The burghers and planters capitulated after a 
brief delay, but the Governor and soldiers refused to assent The 


English stormed the fort ; a few of the Datch were sliun ; and Carr, 
master of the settlements, proceeded at once to display the mean cru- 
dty and greedy rapacity which seemed inseparable from the rule of 
Charles Stuart and his followers. 

The Bwedish goyemment roused for a moment to revive its claim, 
but it was hopeless. The Delaware settlements gave way tranquilly 
to the English rule, Dutch and Swedes both prospering under their 
new masters ; and being of a practical turn of mind, do not appear 
to have repined much at their fate. After the first brutality of Sir 
Robert Carr, the government went on peaceably enough, and the in- 
habitants, having at least as much liberty as they had been wont to 
enjoy under the Company or the city, were contented. One outbreak 
is recorded which was headed by a Swede ; but, on the whole, Dela- 
ware, as an appendage of New York, prospered under English rule, 
and the English Grovernor at New York dealt so much more effective- 
ly with the encroachments from Maryland than the Dutch had been 
able to do, that the agents of Lord Baltimore were held in check. 
With the reconquest of New York by the Dutch, Delaware came 
quietly again under the rule of Holland* and in little more 
1674. ^^^^ ^ y^^ ^^ handed back as quietly to England by the 
treaty of Westminster. Thus fell the power of the second 
Northern race which had contested the dominion of America with 
the English. Always an appendage of New York, Delaware had 
passed from the control of one nation to that of another, and her 
whole history had been made up of these changes. Henceforth the 
ruling nation in Delaware remained unaltered, but the colony went 
on for some years longer in the old way of shifting masters. The 
only difference now was that the contending rulers were all English. 
The first attempt came from the New Jersey settlers, led by Fen- 
wick, who landed and established himself at Salem, the El- 
1676? singburg of the Swedes. Andros objected. Fenwick resist- 
ed, but was finally seized by the Duke's agents in Delaware 
and taken to Newcastle, and thence to New York. In the following 
year Fenwick was at Salem, again carrying himself as an inde- 
1678* P®^^^°* proprietor. He was, again arrested and sent to New 
York, and his colony at Salem placed under the government 
at Newcastle. The first Quaker effort on the Delaware failed. The 
second was more successful. The great province of Pennsylvania 
was granted to William Penn, who soon found that he needed access 
to the ocean, and rights sufficient to prevent the encroachments of 



his Maryland neighbors. Fenn's inflaenco prevailed at court He 
obtained a grant of all the Duke's interest within twelve miles of 
Newcastle, and as far south as Cape Henlopcn. On his ar- 
rival, the Duke's agents met him at Newcastle, when they sur- 
rendered to him the South River settlements; and thus Delaware 
was finally separated from New York, passed under the government 
of Penn, and formed part of his province. 

The people received Penn with gladness, and, under his mild and 
free government, the condition of the colony rapidly improved. Pop- 
ulation increased, while trade and agriculture revived and flourished, 
and the colonial history of Delaware was merged in that of Pennsyl- 


Chapter XII. 


The history of the settlement of Pennsylvania is closely interwoven 
with that of the man whose name was given to the new province. 
Into the life of William Penn it is not necessary to enter. The story 
is a familiar one, and has been spread and maintained by the once 
powerful sect of which he was the most eminent leader. Penn was, 
too, of all the men who founded states in America, the most cele- 
brated in the mother country. He was a very conspicuous figure in 
England during the period of the Restoration and the closing years 
of the seventeenth century. Every one knows how the son and heir 
of a wealthy, worldly, and successful sailor and courtier became the 
zealous and persecuted leader of a despised sect; and how his in- 
fluence and power steadily increased, until he became the favorite and 
adviser of James. His character is a curious mingling of dissimilar 
qualities. He was at once a saint and a courtier, a religions fanatic 
and a shrewd man of affairs and of the world. With the controver- 
sies awakened by Macaulay^s sweeping charges wo have here nothing 
to do. Penn appears in American history simply as the wise foun- 
der of a state, the prudent and just magistrate, and liberal r minded 
law-giver and ruler. His attention was first drawn to colonization by 
the misfortunes of New Jersey, in which Quakers had become inter- 
ested, and in which he himself finally took part in hopes of ordering 
and regulating the confused affairs of that province ; but he had, be- 
sides, two strong motives impelling him in the same direction. He 
had a large inherited claim against the government, which he could 
only hope to have paid in wild American lands; and he was the 
guide and protector of a numerous, industrious, and persecuted peo- 
ple, admirably fitted for colonization, and eager for the peace denied 
them in England. 

At last, after some diflBculty before the Lords of Trade, Penn's pe- 
tition was granted, and he received a deed from the Crown of forty 


thousand sqaare miles of territory, which was christened by the King 
" Pennsylvania," Penn then issued an address setting forth 
his scheme. The government was to be a just and righteous 
government, in conformity with Quaker principles. It was to be a 
govern ment ^f law, and the people were to be a party to it, while the 
great principle that governments depen4 uponj mepy not men upon 
governments, was clearly and emphatically expressed. Perfect liberty 
of conscience was guaranteed to all. Capital punishment was to be 
inflicted only for murder and treason ; and other penalties were to be 
imposed on the theory of reformation, and not of retaliation. Trial 
by jury was assured not only to white men but to Indians. The 
whole document was statesman-like in tone, and broad and liberal in 
principle. Penn offered land at forty shillings for a hundred acres, 
subject only to a small quit-rent ; and even servants were to be allowed 
to ho)d fifty acres in fee-simple. 

The effect of these proposals was great and immediate. Quakers 
from all parts of England pressed forward to join the emigration, 
while Penn's fame drew other settlers from all over Europe, and nota- 
bly from Germany, where a company was formed, under the lead of 
Franz Pastorins, which took fifteen thousand acres. The first year 
three ships went out filled with emigrants, who established themselves 
in caves and huts on the banks of the Delaware. The following 
year Penn himself, with a company of a hundred, went over 
and landed at Newcastle, where he was heartily welcomed by 
his Dutch and Swedish subjects, whom he naturalized, and confirmed 
in their property and oflSces. He then proceeded up the river to 
Chester, where the first Assembly of delegates, chosen by the com- 
missioners whom Penn had sent before him, was held, and the gov- 
ernment was organized. Acts of settlement and union with the old 
Delaware colonies were passed, and a body of law adopted in con- 
formity with the principles laid down in the advertisement. He 
then put in execution his Indian policy, involving a great departure 
from that pursued in the other colonies. Under the famous tree at 
Shackamaxon, Penn made a treaty of peace with the Indians, win- 
ning their confidence, and obtaining their land by fair purchase ; al- 
though, as walking was the method adopted for measurement, the 
trained English pedestrians had much the same advantage over the In- 
dians that the Carthaginians obtained by means of the famous ox-hide. 
External relations being thus settled, Penn selected the broad peninsula 
between the Delaware and the Schuylkill, and there founded the city 


of Philadelphia. He also ordered two handsome hooses to be bailt 
for himself— one in Philadelphia, and one at his manor, of Penntbnry. 
The anspicions beginning was followed by an emigration and a 
growth of population unequalled, except in Massachusetts, in Ameri- 
can colonial history. In one year seven thousand settlers are^ said to 
have arrived ; and before the century closed the colonists numbered 
more than twenty thousand, and Philadelphia had grown to be a 
thriving town. After two busy years, in which he had oi^anized and 
established a government and courts of justice, made firm alliances 
with the Indians, and founded. a city, Penn returned to Eng- 
land. Everything .had gone smoothly thus far. The charter 
provisions had been modified to suit the people, and the Assembly 
had granted money to the proprietary. It seemed an opportune 
moment for Penn to visit England, revive his influence at court, and 
combat Lord Baltimore on the question of boundaries. On his. de^ 
parture, he left the government in the hands of Thomas Uoyd, presi-* 
dent, Colonel Markham, secretary, and a Council compoMd of' the 
judges and other provincial ofiScers. 

Penn hardly had time to reach England before the troubles com- 
mon to proprietary, governments broke out in Pennsylvania. . The 
first conflict arose .between the ruling or Quaker party and some of 
the more prominent men who were not of their sect. • Nicholas 
Moore, the chief -justice, was impeached and expelled the Assembly 
for violence, partiality, and negligence; and the clerk of the provin- 
cial court was arrested because he refused to produce his ndnutes. 
Other troubles also broke out in the form of disorder, and immorality 
and looseness prevailed in the caves of the Delaware. The Aeed of 
the proprietary was sorely felt, and yet Penn found reason to com- 
plain of the treatment he received ; for the impost granted him was 
imperfectly collected, and the people let the quit-rents fall into arrears 
and resisted payment 

With matters in this unsatisfactory condition, Thomas Lloyd re- 
signed ; and Penn, in the hopes of quieting the province, appointed 
one Blackwell, an outsider and stranger, his deputy. Black- 
well quarrelled at once with everybody. He succeeded in 
breaking up the Assembly, and was then involved in a conflict with 
the Council. After nine. months of stormy and high-handed rule, 
he withdrew, leaving the government once more with Thomas Lloyd. 
The disorders of Blackwell's administration had, as their chief re- 
sult, the production of a new and able popular leader in the per- 


son of David Lloyd — Penn^s attorney-general. Blackwell had hard- 
ly been removed when a fresh contest arose between the province 
and the Delaware territories, caused by jealousies in regard to of- 
fices ; and after nnuch bickering and negotiation, the union was 
dissolved. Lloyd remained at the head of the province, and 
Markharo, as Lieutenant-governor, with a separate legislature, took 
charge of Delaware. Hard upon these political dissensions came re- 
ligious strife. George Keith, an active, unscrupulous, and violent zeal- 
ot, brought about a serious schism among the Quakers, and caused so 
much initation by his attacks, that the secular power was called in, 
and be was arrested and thrown into prison. Then was heard the cry 
of religions intolerance in the State devoted to liberty of conscience, 
and complaints rapidly found their way to England. These accumu- 
lated troubles came upon Penn at an evil hour. He had gone home 
to rise to the greatest height of favor and influence under James, and 
had been cast down and covered with suspicion and dislike by the 
Revolution. In vain had he striven to prevent the disunion of the 
province and the territories, to allay the political bitterness, and stifle 
the schism in his sect The conflict aroused by Keith had its dreaded 
result. Religious controversy and intolerance offered a su£Scient excuse 
to rulers by whom Penn was regarded with disfavor. The government ' 
was taken from him, and intrusted by royal commission to 
a royal Governor — Benjamin Fletcher. To Fletcher the gov- 
ernment was surrendered, at Philad^phia, without resistance ; and the 
new Governor, without regard to charter or laws, or to the separation 
of Pennsylvania and Delaware, summoned a general Assembly from 
both province and territories, and a Council on his own model, and 
demanded assistance for the war with France upon the northern fron- 
tiers. Instead of giving money, the Assembly entered into a contro- 
versy with Fletcher as to his powers and their rights under the old 
charter ; and, after a fruitless wrangle, the new Governor returned to 
New York, to which he threatened to annex the province of the re- 
calcitrant Quakers. The next year Markham was left as deputy, while 
Fletcher contented himself with sending letters asking for money and 
supplies, which he did not obtain. 

Meanwhile Penn had gained a hearing, and a prompt acquittal of 
disloyalty, and the restoration of his government followed. 
Unable to leave England at that moment, he continued Mark- 
ham in the office of deputy. Markham, assuming that the old char* 
ter and laws had been abrogated by the suspension of the proprietary. 


convened the Assembly without regard to them. The Assembly had no 
objeetion to this theory, for they aimed, under the able leadership of 
Lloyd, to change the frame of government to suit themselves ; and this, 
after a short struggle with Markham, and by voting money for 
the war, they effected. The Assembly was to sit on its own 
adjournments, originate bills, and be i ndiwoluble durin g the term for 
which it was elected. The Assembly was also to be elected annually, 
the Council biennially, and all offices were carefully defined. The rest 
of Markham^s term was quiet, except for the pirates, who infested the 
coast here as elsewhere, and received enough sympathy to bring the 
province into disrepute. Markham, supported by the Assembly, took 
steps to remedy this evil, which, however, was destined for a long 
time to injure and disgrace the province. 

As the century closed, Penn, freed at last from affairs which had 
kept him in England, came out with his family and resumed 
control of the province, where he intended to pass the rest 
of his life. Without regard to the constitution already enacted, he 
called the Assembly together, and took steps to form a new charter 
and laws, while he also attempted to check the slave-trade, and suc- 
ceeded in having a law passed regulating the treatment and punishment 
of the negroes. His Indian policy, which involved further restrictions 
on the intercourse of whites and Indians, and aimed also at a spread 
of the Gospel among the savages, met with no support The money 
demanded by the Crown for the war was not given by the Assembly, 
on account of religious scruples ; and in the midst of his labors Penn 
received news that the policy of changing the proprietary to royal 
governments was again revived. He was obliged, therefore, to push 
through the charters of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, which he was 
ready to grant, and which, in view of his probable loss of the province, 
he was willing to make liberal. The city charter was easily adopted, but 
the Assembly made a contest, and tried to extort the last possible con- 
cession from their proprietary. The government, as finally established, 
differed but little from that created previously by the Assembly, and 
was in accordance with the general principles laid down in Penn^s 
original scheme. All power was vested in the Assembly, to whose 
discretion the creation of courts was also given. The Council was to 
be merely an advisory and executive body, and not an upper house, and 
the union of the province and territories was again to be dissolved if 
the people so desired, as was probable from the grumbling and dis- 
content once more apparent in Delaware. When this important work 


was done, Penn sailed for England, never to return. He left Andrew 
Hamilton, of New Jersey, as his deputy, and Jiuics Logan as 
secretary. To Logan was also confided the naanagement of 
the proprietary estates ; and the secretary thus became the representa- 
tive of Penn and his family, the leader of his party, and, as l^e was a 
shrewd and able man, the power behind the throne, and the pnncipal 
person in the province for many years. 

Hamilton's administration was short and unfortunate. He was con- 
stantly at war with the Assembly and the popuUr party, headed by 
Uoyd ; and during this time a High-Church or Grown party, small but 
active, grew up under the direction of Colonel Quarry, the judge of 
admiralty. This royal party ddayed the confirmation of Hamilton, 
and used the failure of the pacific Quakers to provide for defence as 
an aigument in England for the destruction of the proprietary gov- 
ernment At the same period, too, the territories again became res- 
tive, and the province, which by this time had had enough of them, 
shook them off, and let them have a. legislature of their. own, thus 
finally severing the union. 

In the year 1703 Hamilton died, and was succeeded by John 
Evans, a young Welshman, who put himself wholly uiKler Lo- 
gan's direction. Failing in his first scheme, which was to re- 
unite the province and territories, Evans at once came to blows with 
the Assembly on the matter oLmroroga tion. which the popular party 
denied to the Gkivemor. Not content with a stubborn opposition to 
Evans, the Assembly sent a memorial to Penn, abusing him, and his 
officers and government, most violently. The forces were now fairly 
engaged, Lloyd leading on ono side, Logan on, the other; the Assem- 
bly against the Council and the officers. At first the Assembly pre- 
vailed ; but the memorial to Penn caused a reaction, and Penn's reply 
and strong support of the Governor gave the victory at last to 
Logan, whose party triumphed in the elections, and returned 
a House which devoted itself to passing necessary laws. Evans, 
meantime, rapidly lost the ground he had gained by setting himself 
against the pacific policy of the Quakers, and trying to get support 
for the war. To arouse them, he caused a false alarm of invasion to 
be given — a scheme in which Logan was said to be involved, 
and which only resulted in profound disgust, and a return of 
the popular party to power at the next election. There was now a 
new and important subject of dispute before them. The bill drawn 
by Lloyd to establish a judiciary had been rejected by the privy 


council through proprietary inflaeace, and the whole question was 
again open. Evans, threatening to establish a judiciary by preroga- 
tive, would come to no terras with the Assembly, who were deter- 
mined the Council should not be a court of chancery ; and an in- 
terview between the Governor and Assembly led to a personal quarrel 
with Lloyd, who was now back again as Speaker. The Assembly, 
baffled and angry, voted to impeach Logan of eirery misdemeanor in 
the calendar. The Governor denied their power. The Assembly 
then drew up a remonstrance, accusing the Governor and Logan of 
every form of wrong-doing, from excluding Quakers from offices to 
stopping the judiciary bill, and sent this remonstrance to Penn and to 
the Board of Trade. The next Assembly came together in a similar 
temper, and Evans again negatived the judiciary bill, and de- 
clared he would do nothing until be heard from the Board of 
Trade. The affair had now reached a dead-lock. The Assembly would 1 
grant nothing to the proprietary ; the Governor would not establish 
courts. Pirates infested the Delaware, and disgraced the colony ; but 
when Evans appealed for aid, the Assembly, after the manner of colo- 
nial legislatures, refused to give anything, alleging the most disingenu- 
ous reasons, and striving to gain a political advantage from. the neces- 
sities of the State. The controversy had not been helped by the char- 
acter of Evans, who was loose in his morals, haughty, headstrong, and 
imperious. Guided by Logan, he had made a strong fight ; but 
the remonstrance of the Assembly obliged Penn to remove him, 
and send out Charles Gookin as bis successor. 

The Assembly at once attacked the new Governor on a number 
of small points, and refused to give aid for the war, now uigent in 
its demands ; and they were still further exasperated by instructions 
which forbade the Governor to act without the assent of the 
Council, or, as they naturally interpreted it, of Logan. This re- 
newed the war between Lloyd and the secretary. The latter ac- 
cused the former of grave misdemeanors ; but as he was unable to 
sustain them, they were pronounced by the Assembly false and libel- 
lous. Logan then in a most insulting fashion asked them to try him 
on the impeachment. The Assembly arrested him, and the Governor 
released bim. He then sailed for England, and thus gave the finishing 
stroke to the long controversy by inducing Penn to write a letter re- 
^proving the Assembly, and threatening an immediate cession to 
' Hhe Crown, which at once brought the popular party to terms, 
and in the next Assembly everything went smoothly. The right to sit 


on their own adjournment was conceded ; the jndiciary established 
without A court of equity, and the expenses of the government were 
cheerfully voted. The following year two thousand pounds were given 
to the Crown in aid of the war, and Gookin's administration moved 
' easily. The government was regulated, and the importation of slaves 
restrained. '' 

This relief seemed to have come too late for Penn. With his prov- 
ince mortgaged and harassed by creditors, he decided to sell 
his rights to the Crown for twelve thousand pounds ; but be- 
fore the sale was consummated, a stroke of apoplexy enfeebled his 
mind, and put a stop to business. The province was relieved by the 
failure of this scheme, for they were attached to the easy and simple 
forms of the proprietary rule, and harmony continued to subsist until 
the Governor, irritated by constant irregularity of payment, 
quarrelled with the Assembly about his meagre salary. Once 
started, he rapidly lost the ground he had gained. He insisted that 
the statutes should be construed so as to make all affirmations illegal, 
which tended to throw all the legal and official business of the prov- 
ince into disorder, for every one of importance almost was a Quaker, 
and it also awakened the strong animosity of religious feeling. Still, 
not content, the Governor, whose mind was probably impaii-ed, pro- 
ceeded to assail Norris, the Speaker of the Assembly, and Logan, the 
two chief men of the province. This produced an organized 
movement for his recall, which was effectual, and Sir William 
Keith came out as his successor. The new Governor was hardly es- 
tablished when the distinguished man who had founded the 
colony died ; but his death made no change in the condition 
of his province, which passed, after a protracted lawsuit, to the chil- 
dren of his second wife. 

Sir William Keith, who came to the head of affairs just as the 
great Quaker was passing away, had been surveyor of the customs 
for the southern provinces, and was familiar with the affairs of Penn- 
sylvania. He was an adroit man, insincere, and with a good deal of 
the demagogue in his disposition. He succeeded in obtaining the 
confidence of the people, put himself at the head of the popular par- 
ty, and, by conceding everything desired by the Assembly, he raised 
his own influence to such a point that he gained all be wished for 
himself. He freed himself from the control of the Council, for which 
there was no constitutional ground, and thus shackled Logan, who, 
however, remained quietly at his post as secretary, and bided his time. 


Keith also succeeded in establishing the obnoxious court of equity, 
^itb himself as chancellor. His Indian policy was wise and success- 
ful, and preserved the peace of the province ; but his financial policy, 
when the fiscal affairs were in a very tangled state, was, though popu- 
lar, thoroughly bad. He introduced and earned through the 
issue of bills of credit, saddling Pennsylvania with the curse 
of a depreciated paper currency. The same year there came to Phil- 
adelphia a young man who soon became and continued the central 
figure in Pennsylvanian provincial history. This was Benjamin 
Franklin, who was almost immediately brought in contact with the 
Governor. The story of their connection is familiar, and Keith has 
the almost unique honor of having overreached and deceived Franklin. 
Misled by the strength of his position, Keith, in the midst of his 
successes, determined to rid himself of his enemies, and on very slight 
provocation removed Logan from the Council and the office of secre- 
tary. This was the false step for which Logan had waited. He at 
once sailed for England, and his journey soon bore fruit in letters 
from Hannah Pcnn and the Trustees, accusing Keith of neglect of the 
proprietary interest and disregard of the Council, and reproving him 
severely for his issue of paper-money. Keith replied, asserting his right 
to act independently, and indiscreetly laid Mrs. Penn's letter before the 
Assembly, who still had great regard for the wishes of the proprietary. 
Lloyd, now chief-justice, roused at the new controversy, and easily 
overthrew Logan^s argument in favor of the powers of the Council ; 
bnt neither he nor Keith could destroy Logan's influence in England, 
by which the latter was removed, and replaced by Patrick Gordon, 
who, having been appointed by the family, and confirmed, came out 
the following year and took possession of the government. 
Keith, after his deposition, entered the Assembly, and strove 
to oppose and break down the new Governor ; but his influence and 
popularity rapidly waned, and he soon after disappears from the his- 
tory of the province. 

Gordon's administration partook of the uncventfulncss character- 
istic of the Walpole period in England. The Grovernor and the As- 
sembly got on very well together, and without any serious dissen- 
sions. The court of equity erected by Keith was abolished, and 
Pennsylvania plunged still deeper into the ruin of depreciated and 
popular paper-money by an additional issue of thirty thousand 
pounds. Trade flourished, and population increased rapidly, 
especially the German immigration, which was so large as to cause 


serions alarm both in the province and England ; bat the Germans 
proved, as a rale, exoellent citizens. This growing popalation, how- 
ever, pushing out on the frontier, came in contact with tiie Indiana, 
and there was from time to time a fear of Indian war. During this 
period, too, we first perceive in Pennsylvania a vague anxiety in re- 
gard to the ^read of the French power, which began to cast its shad- 
ow, dark with savage war, over the future of the colonies. There was 
also a moment of brief suspicion and dread of the Roman Catholics, 
and some agitation against them ; but in the land of religious tolera- 
tion toothing was done, and the only break in the quiet of the time 
was a bitter and rather turbulent contest with Maryland on the mat- 
ter of boundaries. 

After a peaceful administration of ten years, Oovomor Gordon died, 
and was succeeded by James Logan, who, as President of the 
Council, ruled the province in which he had so long been the 
master-spirit for two uneventful years, when he was snpcrseded by 
George Thomas, a planter of Antigua, who was sent oat as Governor. 
Soon after the arrival of Thomas, the Maryland dispute was 
finally settled, leaving Delaware intact, and arranging the oth- 
er differences on the general theory of uH pomdetU, The new Gov- 
ernor had some trouble at the outset in regard to issoing warrants 
for proprietary lands, which had been suspended during the minority 
of the Penn heirs, and was revived with considerable opposition, es* 
pecially from those who, during the interval, had taken up lands with- 
out the formality of a warrant With this exception, everything 
promised to proceed as harmoniously as under the previons Govern- 
or ; but these pleasant appearances were, unfortunately, soon dissipated 
by the wai' between Spain and Encrland. Thomas, instead 
of using a little management, attempted to ai^ue down the 
Quaker principles in regard to fighting, and the Assembly, nettled at 
the attack, refused supplies. The next year came peremptory de- 
mands from England, and great pressure, not only from the proprie- 
taries, but from a portion of the people. Thus pushed, the Assem- 
bly, after much delay, granted money, but under such conditions as 
to almost nullify their action. They based their renewed opposi- 
tion on the fact that the Governor, in raising militia, had, by enlisting 
bond-servants, invaded the rights of property ; and supported by the 
people, although the merchants remonstrated, the Assembly continued 
to thwart and oppose every measure of the Governor for the defence 
of the province, and in aid of the Crown, while they put the usual 


pressure on the Ck)vemor by withholding his salary. The Qaaker 
party was less strong than in the early days, and that of the Gov- 
ernor more vigorous, and better supported by the wealthy inhab- 
itants, especially in Philadelphia. The conflict became excited and 
bitter, and finally resulted in a violent election riot in Philadelphia, 
in which the forces of the Grovemor were routed. This led to fresh 
quarrels ; and finally the Governor; harassed by lack of salary, made 
advances of a conciliatory nature, gave way as to ceKain bills, and 
was paid in full. There had been no difficulty in raising men, but 
the narrow and selfish policy of the Assembly had reduced Pennsyl- 
vania to insignificance, impotence, and unpopularity during the war. ^ 
When war with France was added to the existing complications, 
Thomas again went actively to work to raise men ; and as he 
was powerfully aided by Franklin, and supported by Logan, 
the Quaker Assembly were obliged to content themselves with mere 
apathy. Volunteers were enrolled, and a fort was built by means 
of a lotter}' ; but the Assembly, un influenced by all this, refused, 
on one frivolous excuse and another, to take any part in the Louis- 
burg expedition, and were only forced by royal command at the last 
moment to grudgingly give money for supplies. Thus, by their con- 
tinued selfishness, they lost all share in the glory won by the provin- 
cials in the capture of Louisburg. They took no part, either, in the 
subsequent Canada expedition which was attempted by the other 
colonies, and the only gain made by the province was through the 
troops raised by Thomas, which enabled him to carry out a firm 
Indian policy, and prevent a border war. Soon after these events, 
Thomas resigned, and was succeeded by Anthony Palmer, 
President of the Council, who persisted successfully in main- 
taining and renewing the Indian treaties, withdrawing the tribes from 
French influence, and thus held them in check until peace was 
declared. The quarrels between the Council and the Assem- 
bly continued undiminished on the subject of the ravages of the de- 
fenceless coasts and shipping by privateers, and the efforts of the 
executive to ward off these attacks. 

A new Governor, James Hamilton, the son of Andrew Hamil- 
ton, the eminent lawyer and Speaker of the House, found that he 
had inherited not only the dignities and duties, but the quarrels, of 
his predecessors. The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle did not stop the 
extension of French influence, nor check the dangerous schemes of 
that power. The policy of making treaties with the Indians and 


holdiDg them to their alliance had to be persevered in closely; and 
this policy had now become a heavy harden to the State. This bur- 
den the Assembly justly felt ought to be shared by the proprietaries, 
whose wild lands were more benefited by peace than those of any oth- 
ers, and they therefore demanded that the proprietary estates should 
be taxed. The proprietaries replied feebly and offensively, and the 
Assembly had much the better of the argument. They had, too, the 
advantage of a great leader in the person of Franklin, who 
from being clerk had become a member of the Assembly, and 
who managed the whole of the discussion. The first encounter was 
without result ; but the controversy was destined to grow, and to last 
many years. 

Under the lead of Franklin, too, they entered upon another conflict, 
in which they were as much in the wrong as they had been in the 
right in the matter of the proprietary estates. Money was scarce, and 
the Assembly wished to issue more depreciated paper. The Governor 
wisely and firmly opposed this scheme, although he attempted a com- 
promise by fixing means of redemption, and by referring to the Crown. 
Both proposals were rejected. The real secret ' of the difference was 
that the Governor was required to keep all the interest of loans 
within the control of the proprietaries, and forbidden to countenance 
issues of paper. The outbreak of war and the defeat of 
Washington on the frontier made the need of money impera- 
tive. Tbe Assembly voted thirty -five thousand pounds, fifteen of 
%vhich were for the use of the King in bills of credit; but the Gov- 
ernor still' refused to assent, and soon after gave up his office, which 
he had resigned some time before. 

He was succeeded by Robert Hunter Mon-is, son of Lewis Morris, of 
New Jersey, who brought urgent instructions that Pennsylvania should 
unite with the other colonies and contribute to the war. The result 
was a vote of forty thousand pounds in bills of credit, twenty thou- 
sand being intended for the Crown. The Governor demanded that 
they should be made redeemable in five years. The Assembly refused ; 
and a dispute began which lasted for two years, and utterly crippled 
the province. As the bitter, useless quarrel progressed, Braddock 
could get no assistance except from the personal exertions of Frank- 
lin, and then went to defeat and death on the frontier. The rout 
of Braddock laid the whole border bare to the wasting and cruel 
ravages of the Indians. In vain did the cry of distress go np from 
the hunted people of the interior; the wrangle at Philadelphia stiil 


i^rent on. The Assembly receded from its first positioD, and took 
np their opposition on the ground that the proprietary estates ought 
to be taxed; and at this point another dead-lock ensued. Gradually 
the terriblo distress of the province forced them to dole out money 
to help Massachusetts and the other eastern and northern colonies. 
Under great pressure they passed a volunteer militia bill, and, inade- 
quate as this %vas, Franklin succeeded in bringing about the enlist- 
ment of a considerable number of troops, and, although he ^as no sol- 
dier, went at their head to the interior, producing a good effect upon 
the Indian tribes. The Governor, from time to time, extorted a little 
money ; but his salary remained unpaid. The Indians were again 
on the frontier, carrying war in all directions; and again came a 
dead-lock on the proprietaiy estates. The controversy was 
about to be renewed in all its senseless stages, when Morris 
was superseded by Governor Denny. 

The new Governor was received with great joy, which speedily 
cooled when it was found that he could not assent to any bill which 
did not give him a share in disposing of any issue of bills or money 
raised by revenue ; that he could not permit the issue of more than 
forty thousand. pounds in bill3; and that he was only to allow a par- 
tial taxation of the proprietary estates. The struggle was at once re- 
newed over a bill to lay an excise ; and the position of the Assembly 
was defended with acute ability by Franklin. Meantime, of course, 
devastation proceeded; and, urged by commands from England, pro- 
vincial troops were raised, but with no supplies. An expedition, plan- 
ned by Morris and led by Armstrong, inflicted a severe defeat upon 
the Indians at Eittanning, and was the first gleam of light in the dark- 
ness of the time. Stimulated by this success, the Assembly granted 
one hundred thousand pounds, and, giving way on the proprietary 
estates, sent Franklin and Norris to England to lay their grievances 
before the King. Matters, however, did not mend. Everything sank 
beneath the imbecile rule of Loudon, in command of all the coloni- 
al forces, and affairs went from bad to worse, until the victo- 
ries of Montcalm roused even Pennsylvania to authorize troops 
for the protection of the frontier. Yet even at this moment of gen- 
eral danger, the Assembly and the Governor took occasion to have 
another quarrel over a judge, attacked by the former and protected 
by the latter. The strength of the Assembly in all this weary con- 
test rested on the Quaker and German voters, who were utterly op- 
posed to taxes and war. 


Ai; lafit even PeDnsylraiiia was aroused by the ringing, commandiog^ 
Toice of the " Great Ck)mnioDer/' Londonnand the rest di^ap- 
poared. New men came ont full of eneigy and vigor, and the 
letters of Pitt brought the Assembly. to a sense of the needs of the 
time. The Governor, foreseeing the result of Franklin's mission, of- 
fered to have the prc^rictary estates taxed by special assessors; but 
the Assembly disdained the compromise, and voted one hundred thou- 
sand pounds, without including the proprietaries. A quarrel, of course, 
broke out, and went on between the commissioners of the Assembly 
and the Governor; but this timo men and money were forthcoming, 
and the province appeared, to better advantage than before. Fort 
Dtt Quesne was taken, the border of Pennsylvania was safe, Indi- 
an treaties wore once more successfully negotiated, and the 
next year came the succession of victories in the North, and 
the overthrow of the French power in America. In the mean time 
Franklin had been fighting adroitly and forcibly the battle of the As* 
sembly in England The proprietaries addressed a long letter to the 
Assembly, who refused to recede, and the Governor at last gave. way, 
and assented to a bill taxing the proprietary estates. This bill the 
proprietaries carried to the Privy Council, and, after a sharp contest, 
it received the royal approbation on the engagement of Franklin that 
the Governor should have a share in the disposal of the funds, and 
that the quit-rents should not be paid in bills of credit Thus tlie 
Assembly finally carried their point ; but in the conflict they had sac- 
rificed the honor and welfare of the province during a long and try- 
ing war. They took advantage of war and danger to defeat the gov- 
ernment; and although, with the exception of their paper -money 
schemes, and their refusal to provide for redemption, they were right 
in principle, their conduct was narrow, selfish, and unpatriotic. They 
put the safety of the country in peril to carry a political point, and 
hamper the executive. The controversy should have been postponed, 
for the end did not justify the means. 

Governor Denny obtained his salary by finally assenting to the 
money bills ; but he lost the favor of the proprietaries, and was re- 
placed by James Hamilton, the former Governor, who was reappointed. 
The Canadian victories, meanwhile, relieved the middle colonies of all 
dangers; the forces of Pennsylvania were disbanded ; and the Assembly 
undertook, despite Franklin's engagement, to retain the dispos- 
al of the funds granted by Parliament The old contest was 
thus renewed, and when a requisition came from the Crown, to main» 


tain two*ibicd9 of the troops on a war footings the Assembly flatly 
refused; and^in their qoairel with the G^Ternor, all the supply bills 
fell to the ground. The war with Spain brought a return of reason, 
however, and the parliamentary allotment of 1759 was devoted to the 
defences of Philadelphia. From this new strain they were soon re* 
lieved by the peace ; but their relief was of short duration. A 
desolating Indian war broke out; the settlements were again 
driven back, and the frontier forts were in danger. Individual citi- 
zens came forward with money ; but the everlasting conflict between 
the Governor and Assembly rendered the government impotent 
Fortunately for the people, Colonel Bouquet, with the royal troops, 
defeated the Indians by great skill and bravery, and restored safety to 
the province ; but his victory was followed by a rising of the people, 
and the wanton massacre of large bodies of friendly Indians 
at Lancaster and Faxton. This was the' natural outcome of 
the senseless struggle for power, in a time of war, between Governor 
and Assembly. The insurgents marched on Philadelphia, where the 
Assembly passed a riot act, and the Governor helplessly lost his head. 
The exertions of Franklin, and the spirited conduct of the people of 
Philadelphia, alone saved the province, and put an end to this wretch- 
ed business of massacre and insurrection. 

While the Indian war was still fitfully raging on the frontier, John 
Penn, one of the proprietaries, came out as the successor of Hamil- 
ton. After another struggle and much remonstrance, the Assembly 
granted money, and then started a movement to separate the govern- 
ment and the proprietary estates, or, in other words, to obtain a royal 
government for Pennsylvania. Petitions for the change poured in, 
and were sent to the English agent, with orders to push the business. 
The next election, after a sharp contest, left the power in the hands 
of those who favored a change, and who were led by Franklin 
and Galloway, and opposed by Dickinson ; but while this was 
pending, a much graver question came before all the colonies, and ab- 
sorbed the attention of every one. The little matter of taxing pro- 
prietary estates was forgotten in the plan of the British ministry to 
tax the colonies. The Assembly instructed their agent, Mr. Mauduit, 
to ask a repeal of the Sugar Act, and oppose taxation ; and they fol- 
lowed this up by sending Franklin again to England to represent 
them. The circular of Massachusetts was not laid before the Assem^ 
bly, but as many members as could be brought together were sum- 
moned, and a committee was chosen. The opposition to the Stamp 



Act was nniveTBal and deep-seated. Jobn Haghes, the collector^ was 
forced to sign a pledge that he woald not execute his office, and the 
stamps were not allowed to be landed, and were not used. When the 
Stamp Act Congress met in New York, the Pennsylvania com- 
mittee was among the delegates, and the history of Pennsyl- 
vania becomes part of that of the United Colonies. 


Chapter XIIL 
pennsylvanu and delaware, 1y65. 

Thk social atmosphere changes completely as we pass from Mary- 
land — the last of the southern group — into Delaware and Pennsylvar 
nia. These two provinces may be treated together ; for their practi^ 
cal union under one govemmenty and the circumstances of their settle- 
ment, had effaced any distinctions that might otherwise have existed. 
The older and smaller colony was a mere strip of land at the mouth 
of the noble river from which it takes its name, while the great prov- 
ince of Pennsylvania, alone among the thirteen colonies, had no coast, 
and only indirect communication with the ocean. On the eastern boun- 
dary the rich farming land began, and stretched away — rolling and 
broken, but always ^fertile—- until the region rich in hidden iron and 
coal, and, finally, the steep slopes of the Alleghany range, were reach- 
ed. The climate typified the geographical and political position of 
the middle colonies. It was temperate in the main, but displayed 
the extremes of both heat and cold, characteristic of the southern 
and northern groups ; and, as Penn said, the ** weather often changeth 
without notice, and is constant almost in its inconstancy.'" 

Bancroft estimates the population of the two colonies possessing 
this large and rich territory at one hundred and ninety-five thousand 
in the year 1755.' At the time of the Revolution it had increased 
probably to more than four hundred thousand, of whom one-quarter 
to a third were negroes." The first-conicrs in this large and rapidly- 

> Watson^s ADnals of Philadelphia, ii., 1688. ' Bancroft, iv., 129. 

* The contemporary estimates are, as usual, very wild, and differ hopelessly : 
Board of Trade, 1755—220,000, see Bancroft, It., 129, note; Smyth, ii., 809— 
820,000, one -third blacks; Briasot, p. 2'79, Payers of Capitation tax, 1760— 
31,000; 1770—89,000; 1779—45,000; 1786—66,000; Bumaby, p. 80, 400,000 to 
500,000, one-fifth Quakers, few negroes ; Watson^s Annals, ii., Franklin's esti- 
mate, 1766 — 160,000 whites, one-third Quakers, one-third Germans; £tat Present 
de la Pennsylvanie, 1756—250,000 whites ; Colonial Records, vii., 448, Peters's 
estunate, 200,000, one-eighth Quakers ; Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives, 1778 — 
300,000 whites, 200,000 blacks. 


growing commnnity were the Swedes, a simple, Agricultnral people, 
peaceable alike with Dutch, English, and Indians. At the close of 
the seventeenth century they were still numerous and powerful in the 
Delaware settlenients, and retained their mother tongue ; but after 
that time they were rapidly absorbed by the new population which 
surrounded them, and, unaided by fresh arrivals, lost their distinctive 
qualities. They were a strong, sturdy race, and a valuable element 
among the people.' The Dutch, who superseded them, left but few 
settlers to survive the rush of English immigration, which, begun 
by the Quakers, consisted almost exclusively of families drawn from 
the middle classes of tradesmen, shopkeepers, and small farmers, with 
an infusion, by no means trifling, of convicts, indented servants, and 
wandering adventurers. Many Welsh also came to Pennsylvania, and 
seem to have been a valuable addition. The two foreign elements, 
however, which together outnumbered the English, and gave to Penn- 
sylvania a character wholly different from that of any other colony, 
were the Crermans and Irish. The former began to come immedi- 
ately upon the foundation of the colony, and settled at Germantown. 
These first-comers were drawn thither on account of religion, and in- 
cluded Quakers and Palatines, and, later, Ridge Hermits, Dunkards, 
Mennonists, and Pietists. Afterward the immigration thus started 
grew from natural causes, until, at the time of the Revolution, they 
formed nearly a third of the population, and occupied exclusively 
large districts of western Pennsylvania. They were chiefly farmers, 
thrifty, saving, and industrious, but stubborn, ignorant, and unrelia- 
ble in times of war. Their numerical importance is shown by the 
effect they had upon the language, producing a well-defined dialect 
known familiarly as Pennsylvania Dutch. The Irish immigration be-, 
gan in the year 1719, and assumed such large proportions as to de- 
mand legislation ten years later. A large part of these settlers were 
Scotch -Irish Presbyterians, valuable and good colonists; but there 
were also many others of Irish race, who were, as a rule, a very unde- 
sirable addition at that period. Scarcely more than a third of the lat- 
ter succeeded as farmers ; and they were a hard-drinking, idle, quarrel- 
some, and disorderly class, always at odds with the government, and 
did much to give to that government and to politics the character for 
weakness aud turbulence, which, beginning before the Revolution, has 
broken out at intervals down to the present day. This brief outline 

* Pennsylvania Hist Coll., iii., Holme^s History. 


of the population shows the great mixture of races, and in a rough 
way the qualities of the principal elements, which had a marked ef- 
fect upon the society of the colony and the later history of the State/ 
The people of Fennsylrania and Delaware relied chiefly upon agri- 
culture for snppoTt, and the great mass of them were tillers and culti- 
vators of the soil. But there were many merchants and tradesmen as 
well, besides shopkeepers and mechanics. The radical difference be- 
tween the middle and southern colonies is nowhere better shown than 
in the economical contrast The single staple of Virginia was here re- 
placed by varied products, and the commerce of Pennsylvania was a 
fruitful source of wealth. The exports and imports were worth at the 
period of the Revolution more than a million pounds ; and trade, legal 
and illicit, extending not only to England, but to Lisbon, Madeira, and 
the West Indies, employed nearly five hundred vessels and over seven 
thousand seamen.* The exports embraced many natural products. 
Penn had at an early day set his face against the cultivation of to- 
bacco, and although some was grown in the more southern districts, 
the great Yiiginian * staple was superseded. The principal exports 
were grain and flour; but timber and every kind of farm produce 
were sold in large quantities, and there was an extensive and valuable 
fur trade, founded by Penn himself. The imports, besides wines and 
sugar, consisted, of course, mainly of manufactured articles. There 
could hardly be said to be any manufactures as yet in Pennsylvania ; 
but the germs were there, and the first experiments were in progress ; 
the coarser articles were made in considerable quantities, and these 
indications, as well as the mining industries, cleariy showed the bent 
of the people. Saw-mills and grist-mills were numerous, and em- 
ployed, not only by the Pennsylvanians, but by their less enterprising 
neighbors of the south ; and ships were built at the Philadelphia 
docks, and used by the traders of the province. As early as the end 
of the seventeenth century the manufacture of paper and of glass 
was tried by the Germans at Germantown and Mannheim, as well as 

1 Michaux's Travels, p. 81 ; Smyth's Tour, ii., 279, 809 ; Brisaot, p. 290; Kalm, 
i., 68, 216 ; Foote, Sketches of Virginia, L, 99 ; Watson's Annals, ii. ; Cr^Tecoeur, 
p. 48, and in regard to Irish, p. 78 ; Coll. Hist. Soc., v., Braddock's Exped., Sargent, 
Convicts, etc. 

> Smyth, ii., 807; Wallace, Inaugural Address to Hist. Soc., 1872; Watson's 
Annals of Philadelphia, ii. ; £tat Present dc la Pennsylvanie ; Huguenot Family in 
Yiiginia, p. 80 ; Bumaby, p. 80 ; Colonial Rec., L, 1697 ; Hist Soc. Coll., ix., 1702, 
Customs on goods from Pennsylvania. 


that of druggets, crapes, and stockings, the last forming a thriving and 
profitable industry. Some of the Irish made linen of good qaalitj, 
and homespnn was in general domestic use. Vines and silk were also 
tried under government auspices, as in the other colonies, and with a 
like lack of success. The most marked development was seen in the 
iron industry. The first furnace was started in the year 1720, and 
in 1760 three thousand tons of pig-iron were exported. The industry 
had reached such proportions as to attract the notice of Parliament, 
and led to an act to suppress rolling and slitting mills, and to en- 
courage the exportation of the raw material only for tlie benefit of the 
mother country. The establishment of a fire-insurance company, and, 
later, of one for life insurance, together with steps taken to secure pat- 
ents of new processes of weaving and for cleansing com, all indicate 
the existence of an active and enterprising business community. The 
produce of. the farms was floated down the rivers from the interior, 
or brought in sacks on the backs of horses, and shipped from Phila- 
delphia. The farms were, as a rule, well managed, and the agricult- 
ure was, as compared with that of the other colonies, high and 
thrifty. A hasty survey of the trade and industries of Pennsyl- 
vania gives at onco an insight into the character of the people, and 
displays a rich and growing prosperity, and a thrift in management 
wholly diflferent from the south, and which stamps the middle colo- 
nies with a peculiar character.' 

The governments of Pennsylvania and Delaware consisted of a sin- 
gly executive for both provinces, with a legislature for each ; and it 
is sufficient to describe the system of the former to understand both. 
The government of Pennsylvania differed in some important respects 
from those of the other colonies. With the exception of Maryland 
and, of course, Delaware, it was the only proprietary government, and 
the descendants of William Penn stood in a relation of quasi sover- 

* As to trade and industry in Pennsylvania, see Huguenot Family in Yirginiaf 
p. 80 ; Cr6vecoeur, p. 46 ; Smyth, ii., 803, 807, 808 ; Kalm, i., 62, 102, 160; it 189; 
Burnaby, pp. 78, 80, 82 ; Coll. Hist. Soc.,i., 197 ; Ibid., Republ, Watson's Annals of 
Buckingham County, etc., as to late development of coal ; Watson's Annals of Phil- 
adelphia, ii., 1768 ; Description of Pennsylvania by Gabriel Thomas ; Wallace, Inaug. 
Address, Hist. Soc., 1872 ; Hist Coll., ix., Penn and fur trade; Pennsylvania Hist 
Mag., i., 68 ; Watson's Annals of Philadelphia, ii. ; Col. Records, iii., 1717 ; iv., 1736 ; 
v., 1750 ; Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives, 1760, Smuggling, 1776 ; Rochefoacaold, 
i., 82 ; Pennsylvania Laws, 1700, 1730 ; and in 1769, Laws for inspection of lumber 
for protection of Province, common to all great articles of export ; for Delaware, 
Brissot, p. 362 ; Pennsylvania Hist Soc. ColL, xi., Acrelius ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 272. 


eignty, and drew a large revenue from tbe great colony which bore 
their name. The executive department was composed of the Gov- 
ernor and his Council, who were simply advisory, and did not sit as 
an Upper House, the entire legislative power being vested in a single 
body of delegates chosen by the people. The deputy or acting (tov- 
emor was appointed by the proprietary to serve in his absence, and 
was subject to the royal af»proval. As in all colonies where the peo- 
ple were not opposed by the power of the Crown, the Governor was 
of little importance. The sheriffs and coroners were elected by the 
people, and all officers whose duties were financial were either elected, 
or appointed by the Assembly. The only appointments of impor- 
tance in the hands of the Governor were judicial, and his only valu- 
able prerogative was the power to pardon in all cases but those of 
murder and treason, where he might grant a reprieve, subject to the 
approval of the Crown. The Assembly also hdd the purse-strings, 
excluded the Governor from Indian affairs, and, going much further- 
than elsewhere, sat on their. own adjournment, and denied success- 
fully the right of the Governor, to either dissolve or prorogue, al- 
though admitting his power to summon them by writ The confusion 
and faction of an earlier period, when Logan was wont to advise a 
surrender to the Crown, had resulted in the supremacy of the Assem- 
bly. The representatives had a property qualification, and were voted 
for by the tax-paying freemen, a more liberal suffrage than that in 
vogue elsewhere, while naturalization was, as usual, obtained by peti- 
tion, examined by the Governor, and recommended to the House. 
The only check upon legislation was the right of repeal reserved to 
the King in council.' 

The proprietary drew his income from the quit-rents reserved in all 
deeds, and which could be collected by distress, and from his great 
manors, the taxation of which was such a fruitful source of conten- 
tion. Salaries were small, and taxation light. The net revenue, 
raised by direct taxes, excise, and light customs, amounted to eight 
thousand pounds, and one thousand pounds was derived from the 
tonnage duties for the benefit of light-houses. There was no navy, 
and tbe militia, established with difficulty on account of the hostility 
of the Quakers, was small, no expense to the public, and wretchedly 

1 Smyth, il, 808 ; Burnaby, pp. 82, 84 ; for Delaware, p. 74 ; Pennsylyania Laws, 
1706, 1760; CoL Rec, iii., 1729; iv., 1746; vii., 1767; Hazard, Pennsylvania Ar- 
chives, 1776, Answer to Hillsborough ; Watson^s Annals of Philadelphia, 1, 26. 


inefficient, except in Delaware, where it was establidied by law, and 
where all men between eighteen and fifty were required to senre.' 

The judicial system was above the colonial standard, both as re- 
gards bench and bar. The early Quaker scheme of peace-makers to 
act as arbitrators and prevent lawsuits seems to hare met with little 
success ;* and at the time of the Revolution there was an adequate and 
efficient oiganization for the administration of the common law, which 
prevailed in Pennsylvania as elsewhere, except when modified by stat- 
utes, imperial or provincial All judges were appointed by the Gov- 
ernor. The lowest court was that of the local magistrate or justice of 
the peace, competent to try cases involving less than forty shillings. 
The next was the county court, or court of quarter-sessions, composed 
of three justices, who sat by special commission as a court of common 
pleas ; while the highest tribunal was the supreme court, consisting of 
a chief- justice and three puisne judges, with general appellate juris- 
diction, and combining the functions of the English courts of com- 
mon pleas, king^s bench, and exchequer. They held two terms, and 
were also empowered to sit as a court of oyer and terminer, and 
hold a general jail delivery, a power rarely exercised. Causes in- 
volving more than fifty pounds could be carried up from the su- 
preme court to the King in council. There was no court of chan- 
cery. Keith had succeeded in establishing one, with himself as chan- 
cellor, under the charter ; but after his rule it was suppressed, and such 
equity jurisdiction as was required was exercised by the common-Uw 
courts. There was a register-general of probate and administration at 
Philadelphia, and recorders of deeds appointed at an early period in 
each county. There was also an English court of vice - admiralty, 
from which there was an appeal to England ; but this court was so 
unpopular that the judge at one time complained that he could not 
perform the duties of his office. The judiciary of Delaware was simi- 
lar in arrangement, but formed an independent organization. 
"V The bar in Pennsylvania was exceptionally good, and had always 
received full recognition. Practice was simple, and attorneys were 
admitted by the justices after slight examination ; but the law, as a 
profession, had many excellent representatives in the colony, and 
drew to its ranks many men of learning and ability. Andrew Ham- 

» Burnaby, p. 89; Watson^s Annals, i., 25; £tat Present de la Pennsylvanie; 
Col. Rcc., vii., 1767, Militia ; ix., 1767, Letter from J. Penn to Shelbarne; Hazard, 
Pennsylvania Archives, 1758. 

« Hist See. OoU., iii., Hist, of Bristol Borough, 1688 ; Col. Rec., ii., 1709. 


ihon, who defended Zenger, was tbe first American lawyer who: gained 
more than a local repotation, and the only one who did so in colonial 

The religions system of Pennsylvania was peculiar to that province, 
and was the most important feature of her public policy, for it was the 
system of Pennsylvania which received the sanction of the revolution- 
ary Congress and of the Convention of 1789, and which now prevails 
throughout the United States. There was, with one trifling exception 
due to secular causes, genuine religions freedom from the beginning. 
The oppression of New England and Virginia, of Congregationalist 
and Episcopalian, was unknown, and toleration did not rest on the 
narrow foundation of expediency to which it owed its early adoption 
in Maryland. The Quakers in power were true to the tenets which 
they had preached when persecuted. Penn's followers were, however, 
a religious people, and, although they promised to all Christians per- 
fect toleration, a strong tone of religion pervades the *' nervous proo- 
lamation " against vice, and the early laws of tbe same character.' 
Yet there was but little Sabbatarian legislation such as we find upon 
the statute-book of both Virginia and Massachusetts, although. an un- 
fortunate barber was presented by the grand-jury of an early period 
for '* trimming on the first day.'" There is, however, no indication 
that Sunday was less observed, or that the morals of the people were 
worse on this account, and the same may be said in regard to the 
recognition of marriages solemnized in any religious society whatever. 
The generous toleration thus afforded attracted all forms and creeds to 
Pennsylvania, and at the time of the Revolution the facts especially 
noticed by all observers are the universal toleration, and the number 
and mixture of sects. One writer asserts that religions indifference 
was a characteristic of the people owing to this mingling of sects, 
and his opinion would seem to be borne out by the religious laxity in- 
dicated by the prevalence of church lotteries.* The forms were cer- 
tainly less rigid than elsewhere ; but the piety was as genuine and re- 
ligion as wholesome and wide-spread as in any colony. 

' Ab to the courts and the bar in Pennsjlvania, see Bumabj, pp. 88, 84 ; for Del- 
aware, p. 74 ; Laws of Pennsylvania, 1706, 1713, 1715, 1722 ; Jud. Act, 1752, 1767 ; 
Col. Rec.,iii., 1720 ; Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives, 1727 ; Watson's Annals, I 

' Hist Coll., ix., 12, Penn to Logan, ** Prepare a nervous proclamation against 
vice." » Watson's Annals, l, 1708. 

* Cr6vee(Bur, p. 62; Pennsylvania Laws, 1765, 1767, 1768; MemoiTS of a Life 
passed chiefly in Pennsylvania, p. 6. 


The oldest charch in the two provinces was that founded by the first 
settlers, who were Swedish Lutherans, and this sect maintained itself 
for more than a century, forming the only connecting link between 
the worshippers and their mother country. The ministers came 
from Sweden until the year 1786, when a petition for their discontin* 
uance was sent, because their speech was no longer intelligible.* But 
though the distinctions of race were effaced, the creed survived, was 
adopted by the Dutch, and extended by the German immigrants of 
like faith. The Quakers were, of course, much stronger than any other 
single sect, although they speedily sank from controlling numbers to 
a minority of the whole population. They had much more religious 
energy than any other denomination, more fondness for their forms, 
and maintained with greater solicitude their connection with the par- 
ent societies. The English Church, although founded at an early pe- 
riod, never flourished. It served as a cry to the " Hot Church party," 
which was headed by Colonel Quarry, to oppose Penn and favor a 
royal government ; but it never obtained any importance, and was sus- 
tained only by the gifts of the Society for the Propagation of the Gos- 
pel. Weak as it was, however, it was the only one of the churches 
which might some day be raised above the others by the strong arm 
of government ; and when the Bishop of London proposed to present 
a minister his right was resisted and denied by the people, and claimed 
for the proprietary and Governor. 

The most important sects next to the Quakers were the Lutherans 
and Presbyterians, the latter supported by the Irish and Scotch set- 
tlers, and with an active, able, and energetic ministry, who spread their 
doctrines with much success through the province. There were also 
respectable bodies of Dutch Calvinists, Baptists, Anabaptists, and 
Moravians. There were, too, many of the strange sects and mysti- 
cal societies whose members came from Germany in search of the 
peace and toleration offered by the Quakers. Among these, besides 
the Moravians, were Dunkards, dressed like Dominican friars, Mennon- 
ists. Pietists, and Ridge Hermits. Last of all come the Roman 
Catholics, a small body, principally composed of Irish and Ger- 
mans, which was certainly insignificant, and would have remained con- 
tented and unmolested but for the coming of the hapless Acadians, 
and the fact of the old French war. The possible danger of Indian 

1 Hist. Soc. Coll., xi., Acrelius, Hist. ; Pennsylyania Hist. Mag., p. 1, Black^s Jour- 
nal ; Col. Recordfl, ix., 1765. 


inroads, condacted by Frenchmen, \ras enongh to rouse the two 
strongest hatreds of which a man of English race was at that time 
capable. Frenchmen and Papists could mean nothing but harm to 
any community. The Acadians were both ; and some of the Irish and 
Germans were the latter. In the year 1766 three Frenchmen were ar- 
rested for poisoning wells, and the excitement was at its height The 
Acadians, by the interposition of certain Huguenot Quakers, were pro- 
vided for by the Assembly ; but they were dispersed among the coun- 
ties, and, broken by misfortune, sank into poverty, and rapidly disap- 
peared. It was also said that Irish priests stirred up the people at the 
mass-houses to join the French ; and as a consequence of this union, 
Roman Catholics were disarmed, and their houses searched ; they were 
exempted from the militia, and compelled to pay fines. Their number 
in Philadelphia was not at this time over two thousand, and they were 
the poorest and most ignorant of the population. Their persecution 
was, however, only passing, and was due, not to religious bigotry, but 
to the wave of fear which swept over the English colonics when France 
let loose the savages upon their borders.' With this single exception, 
the religious system of Pennsylvania was one of perfect toleration, and 
tbe condition of religious affairs differed in no essential respect, either 
social or political, from that which is common to all the United States 
to-day. With this simple policy of tolerance to all, religion in Penn- 
sylvania plays no conspicuous part in her history. There was little os- 
tentation connected with the varied worships. The churches or meet- 
ing-houses were, as a mle, small and plain, but neat buildings, and the 
clergy a respected and respectable class, honored in their calling, but 
neither a picturesque body, as in .Virginia, nor one of great social and 
political influence, as in Massachusetts. 

The standing of the lawyers and the clergy are indications of the 
great differences existing between the middle and southern colonies. 
Another similar and even more striking illustration is to be found 

' As to Religion in Pennsjlvania, see Cr^recoBur, p. 62 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 93 ; 
Kalm, i., 86 ; Buroaby, p. 84 ; Hist. Soc., I, 62, Procl. of Evans ; Ibid., iil, History 
of Bristol Borough Episcopal Church, 1683; Ibid.,vi., as to Acadians; Pennsyl- 
vania Laws, 1700, 1705, 1724, 1726, 1756 ; Watson's Annals, i. and ii., as to Eng- 
llsh Church and German Sects; Col. Rec, vii., 448, 1757; ix., 1756, 1756, 1757, 
1765 ; Hist Soc. Coll., xi., Acrelius, as to Ephrata and Herrenhutters ; Huguenot 
Family in Virginia, p. 801 ; Chateaubriand, vii., 18 ; Anderson's History of Colonial 
Church, ii., 435 ; Chambers, A Tribute to the Irish and Scotch settlers ; Rochefou- 
cauld, L, 26. 


in the tbird great prof ession —^ that of medicine. As has been re- 
marked, in the colonies to the south, medical men, as a class, were in 
themselves of little merit, and socially and politically had no impor- 
tance, whereas in Pennsylvania the case was exactly reversed. Al- 
though Gabriel Thomas asserts, in mentioning the attractions of the 
colony, that it had neither lawyers nor doctors, and was therefore 
both peaceable and healthy, yet there is no doubt that two physicians 
of good reputation came out with Penn, and that from that time on 
the profession was respected, And was always extending its influence and 
its services. The country physicians, except in the back districts, where 
the practice was of the rudest sort, were apparently men of good re- 
pute, eking out a slender professional income by farming or shopkeep- 
ing ; but the most eminent of the profession were gathered, of course, 
in Philadelphia. There were certain marks of simplicity about them 
which seem odd to^ay, but which were then either the fashion ev« 
erywherc, or qualities incident to a new country. Although there 
were regular druggists, yet even the best doctors were exp^ted to be 
apothecaries as well, and dispense medicines to their patients. They 
almost invariably walked in making their round of visits in the towns, 
and in the country rode on horseback. Midwifery was given up exclu- 
sively to women. The profession, as a whole, was of remarkably good 
quality, and it is said that in all Philadelphia there were not more than 
two or three quacks. The services rendered to the progress of medical 
science by the profession in Pennsylvania were as great, if not greater, 
than in any other colony, and were in themselves very considerable. 
Inoculation was successfully introduced in the year 1731, although 
not without the usual hard contest with existing prejudices. Three 
years later Dr. Thomas Cadwaladcr, a graduate of the London schools, 
published an essay upon the " Iliac Passion " — the first medical book 
produced in Pennsylvania, and one of the earliest which appeared in 
the colonies. About the middle of the century he began to lecture 
upon anatomy, and was the pioneer in this branch of medical instruc- 
tion. He was also one of the first physicians appointed to the hospi- 
tal founded in Philadelphia in the year 1760. Ten yeare later Dr. Wil- 
liam Shippen began a course of anatomical lectures in a private house, 
and by these small beginnings he and his friend. Dr. Morgan, succeeded 
in starting the medical college which in the year 1765 was ingrafted 
upon the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Shippen subsequently did 
much to raise the practice of midwifery from the rule of thumb 
methods of the old women, who had a monopoly of this department 


T&ete energetic and able men — ^among whom Dr. Rusb, famous also 
by bis controversy with Cobbett, beld a leading place — were fair ex- 
amples of tbeir profession. They were men of family, position, 
and wealth, were educated abroad, and were adberents of the English 
school. Tbey not only did much to advance medical science in 
America, but tbey helped to break the old tradition of barbers and 
apothecaries, which even now weighs upon medicine in England, and 
to put the profession, one of tbe noblest to whicb a man can devote 
himself, in its true position, and to render it attractive, honorable, and 
desirable to men of all ranks and of the highest attainments.^ 

Variety of pursuits and a roembcrsiiip representing all classes of 
the community was not confined to the learned professions. In Phil- 
adelphia there were great merchants, many busy shopkeepers, and not 
a few ingenious artisans and mechanics.' In the smaller towns there 
were the petty store-keepers and the restless Indian traders, who roam- 
ed from the sea-coast to the Alleghanies and to the fertile region of 
the Ohio in search of furs for the European market.' There were 
others of the people, too, engaged in the infant manufactures, and 
in the mining industries just coming into life. Thus, although the 
bulk of the population consisted of farmers, there was an active and 
important element of tradesmen, great and small, which made its in* 
fluenee felt throughout the entire community, while, in addition, the 
learned professions were eagerly sought and successfully practised by 
the best men in the province. Variety of interest and of occupation 
was not, therefore, wanting in Pennsylvania, and it caused liberality 
and enterprise among the people, and a rapid material development 
which was even then in progress. 

In a community with so large an interest in trade and shopkeep- 
ing, there was, of course, from the outset the usual tendency to con- 
centrate for the better prosecution of business. Philadelphia throve 
from the beginning, was in the year 1750 second only to Boston in 
size and impoi-tance, and by the time of the Revolution had become 
the first city in America in population. The inhabitants of the city 

* ^s to medicine in Pennsylvania, see Wickes, Hist, of Medicine in New Jer- 
sey, pt. L; Raynal, Eng. ed., p. 120; Brissot, p. 801 ; Gabriel Thomas's Descript. 
of Pennsylvania ; Pennsylvania Laws, 1724, 1760 ; Wallace's Inaugural Address, 
1872; Hist. Soc.CoiLRepubL,i., Watson's Account of Buckingham County, etc., 
Med. Hist, of Pennsylvania; Hist, of University of Pennsylvania, iii.; Watson's 
Annals of Philadelphia, ii. ; Rochefoucauld, i., 8. 

' Kalm, i., 68. * Gabriel Thomas's Description. 


proper numbered more than twenty-five thousand, and those of the 
suburbs carried the total above thirty thousand.^ 

The city was lidd out on the imbecile checker-board pattern now 
almost universal in the United States, and the High Street running 
through the centre of the town was the great promenade for the citi- 
zens. From the very outset good building was the rule ; the houses 
were chiefly of brick, some of stone, and but few of wood. The pub- 
lic buildings were comely and useful structures, and considered in their 
day imposing and handsome. The churches were small and unpre- 
tentious, but neat The open squares, long rows of poplars, and lai^ 
gardens and orchards about the houses of the better sort, gave some 
relief to the rigid lines of the streets. In the matter of police regu- 
lations, more had been done in Philadelphia at that time than in 
most cities in any part of the world, and this was chiefly due to the 
genius and the quiet energy of Franklin. At his arrival the town 
was filthy, and unpaved, unlighted, and guarded only by half a dozen 
constables drawn from the citizens. When the Continental Con- 
gress assembled, the crossings everywhere were paved, as well as the 
principal streets; there was a regular watch to patrol the town, 
cleaning was performed by contract, instead of ineflSciently by con- 
victs, and the streets were dimly lighted. By Franklin^s exertions 
the city had come to be the pride of the province, and there was 
abundant legislation for its benefit The well-built houses, sometimes 
rising over shops and store-houses, sometimes surrounded by gardens, 
were generally in the English style of the eighteenth century. They 
all had broad porches and projecting roofs and windows. Many were 
adorned with balconies, and the old dials set in the walls served in large 
measure as time-keepers to a race ignorant of steam-engines. The most 
characteristic feature of the town was the sidewalks, marked off from 
the roadway by posts at short intervals, and by pumps, surmounted 
by lamps, and thirty yards apart Within these posts foot-passengers 
found protection from vehicles ; and convivial gentlemen, groping their 

1 Magazine of Amer. Hist.,!., 231, Xarr. of Prince de Broglie, S0,000 ; Elkanah 
Watson, 1784,6000 houses, 60,000 people; jfetat Present de la Pennsylvanie, 1766, 
12,000; Michaux, 1749, 11,000; 1785,40,000: Smyth, it., 804, 85,000 ; AbW Ro- 
bin, pp. 88, 98, 1781, 20,000; Bri8Sot,p. 120,1766,20,000; Kalm,i., 81, Philadelphia 
second to Boston only, p. 67,1746,10,000; quadruples nearly in twenty years: 
Bumaby,p.76, 1769, 8000 houses, 18,000 to 20,000 people; Watson's Annals, ii., 
in Philadelphia and suburbs, 1 768, 2800 houses; 1762,2969; 1769,8800; 1777, 
4474 ; 25,000 to 80,000 people. 


way home throngli the faintly lighted streets, butted against them, and 
were thus kept in the foot-path and out of the gutter. Houses and 
sidewalks were scrupulously clean, and even the large and commodi- 
ous market at the end of the High Street, filled every morning with a 
busy crowd, was neat, quiet, and orderly. All the foreign commerce 
of the province centred in Philadelphia, and the quays along the river 
were the scene of bustle and activity inseparable from thriving trade. 
Great fairs brought in the country people, and these, with the seamen 
and strangers, gave life and variety to the streets and squares. High 
rents indicated the growth and business impoilance of the town, 
which, small as it appears in comparison with modern cities, was 
large by any standard of the eighteenth century. To Chateaubriand 
Philadelphia seemed tti^te^ and he comments on the similarity of the 
houses, and the dull, monotonous aspect of the town. To Jefferson, 
on the other hand, the impression of the neat, well-built, and prosper- 
ous, yet simple Quaker city, after the slovenly little villages of Vir- 
ginia, was never lost, and he wrote, many years later, that he thought 
Philadelphia handsomer than either London or Paris. The truth lies 
probably somewhere between. Philadelphia before the Revolution was 
a genuine English country town of the best sort, well-kept and thrifty, 
with unmistakable signs of the well-being of its inhabitants.' 

The forces which had built up Philadelphia were not without effect 
elsewhere in the province. Germantown, with its infant manufactures, 
was a prosperous village. The houses were less good than in the cap- 
ital, and hero and there were to be seen the little dwellings of the 
early settlers, with gabled ends toward the streets, low rooms, and 
projecting eaves. Other towns were rapidly springing up at a greater 
distance from Philadelphia. Reading, in the year 1749,'had only one 
house, and two years later had one hundred and thirty ; while Lancas- 
ter, with a German and Irish population of nearly ten thousand, was the 
largest inland town in the colonies, and York did not fall far behind 
it The little town of Bristol, a fair type of the Pennsylvania village, 
has been described by one who was bom and lived there in the late 

1 For Philadelphia, see Huguenot Family in Virginia, pp. 801-2 ; Michaux, p. 20 ; 
Smyth, il, 803, 804, 807-9 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 98 ; Brissot, pp. 204, 207 ; Raynal, pp. 
119, 120 ; Journal of Claude Blanchard, p. 186 ; Kalm, i., 84, 85, 44, 46, 67 ; Buma- 
by, pp. 76, 78 ; Wansey's Tour, p. 184 ; Gabriel Thomas's Description, 1698 ; Penn- 
sylvania Laws, 1761, 1768, 1771 ; Pennsylvania Hist. Mag.,i., Black's Journal ; Wat- 
son's Annals of Philadelphia, i., il., generally ; Memoirs of Elkanah Watson, 1784 ; 
Chatokubriand, vii., 17. 


provincial times. The great road to New York "formed the pria-* 
cipal and, indeed, the only street marked by anything like a conti-*. 
nnity of bailding. A few side streets were opened from this maia* 
road, on which, here and there, stood an hamble, solitary dwelling. 
At a comer of two of these lanes was a Quaker meeting-house ; and 
on a still more retired spot stood a small Episcopal church, whose 
lonely graveyard, with its surrounding woody scenery, might have 
furnished an appropriate theme for such a muse as Gray^s. These, 
together with an old brick jail (Bristol having once been the county 
town of Bucks), constituted all the public edifices.'" 

In Delaware, Newcastle, the capital of the lower counties, was an 
ill-built and unattractive place ; but Wilmington, with an active popu- 
lation of merchants and mechanics, was growing rapidly. The houses 
were generally of brick, and many of the quaint buildings of the Swedes 
still remained. It had fairs and a good trade, and is spoken of by all 
the travellers of the time as a neat, pretty, and prosperous town. The 
town life, the constant association of many members of the community 
with their fellow-beings, had, of course, a marked effect upon society, 
and found its fullest expression in Philadelphia.' 

The well-defined classes, and simple but strongly marked social and 
political system of the southern States, are lost in Pennsylvania. There 
was, as in all the colonies, an aristocracy composed of the descendants 
of Penn's principal followers, many of whom were landed gentry, own- 
ing great estates from which they drew their revenues, and of wealthy 
farmers and successful merchants ; but this aristocracy was neither dis- 
tinctly marked nor homogeneous and compact. Its members received 
a certain recognition, and were often leaders in the province, but they 
were not politically or socially powerful. Indeed, they were so ill- 
defined as a class, that one careful observer, who lived long in Penn- 
sylvania, declares that there was no aristocracy in existence." This 
weakness arose in great measure from the absence of primogeniture, 
excluded by Penn's hostility,^ from the supineness of the upper classes 
themselves, and from the character and pursuits of the mass of the 
population; for there is no indication that there was any levelling 

' Memoirs of a Life passed chiefly in Pennsylvania, p. 4. 

' For small towns in Pennsylvania and Delaware, see Smyth, ii., 278, 279 ; Bur- 
naby, pp. 78, 75, 80 ; Hist. Soc. Coll., i.,Republ. Gonynham^s Hist. Notes ; Watson's 
Annals, ii. ; Brissot, p. 862 ; Kalm, i., 89, 167 ; Pennsylvania Hist. Mag., L, Black's 
Journal ; Ferris's Original Settlements on the Delaware ; Elkanah Watson's Me- 
moirs, 1784. ■ Cr^vecceur, p. 46. * Watson, i 


spirit in Pennsylvania, or any of the vigorons democratic theories 
which prevailed in New England. But, however weak and ill-defined 
the aristocracy may have been, there is no doubt of its existence, nor 
of that of the aristocratic spirit which mast always be found when any 
portion of the commanity is in a state of enforced servitude. Free 
labor was the mle in Pennsylvania, and there was also free service ; 
hut there were, besides, bond-servants and slaves. 

African slaves were brought to Pennsylvania as to the other col- 
onies soon after the settlement, but they never became very numerous. 
They were employed generally as house servants, and in Delaware as 
field hands, but do not appear to have been much used on the Pennsyl- 
vania farms, and not at all in iron-works or any other of the industries. 
They gathered principally at Philadelphia, and in the eastern counties. 
Their insignificance as a class, and the feebleness of slavery as an insti- 
tution, were due to a variety of causes, of which the first and most im- 
portant was the supremacy of free labor, and the consequent presence 
of large bodies of white men who worked themselves. The climate was 
too severe for the negroes fresh from Africa or the West Indies, and 
they were expensive and precarious property, while the bond-servants 
were cheap and plentiful. The Quakers, as a sect — ^although many of 
them came to hold slaves with indifEerence — displayed toward slavery 
an unwavering hostility very bitter at the outset, and while under Penn's 
immediate influence, but always persistent and active. They used the 
arguments of religion to bring about manumission by members of the 
meeting; and such men as Wool man and Benezet devoted their lives 
to warfare upon slavery. This spirit was strongly manifested in the 
slave legislation of the province, although there were, of course, harsh 
clauses. Blacks received lashes for all misdemeanors for which whites 
were fined. Intermarriage of the races was prohibited under heavy 
penalties : the maxim partus sequiiur ventrem was rigidly enforced, 
and the negroes were buried in separate graveyards outside the towns. 
The rights of property in slaves were scnipulously guarded by the 
government ; but the general character of the laws was mild, and 
slaves had some security for life and limb. The murder of a slave 
was punishable with death, although public sentiment would not 
sustain the infliction upon a master of such a penalty. Whippings 
were generally administered by public ofiScers at the jails, on the 
request of the owners. More important than anything else were the 
steady efforts of the Assembly during the eighteenth century to stop 
the importation of slaves by means of a prohibitory duty, and they per- 



sistcd in tbia policy, despite the opposition of England, nntil tbey final- 
ly obtained complete success. Slaves were still sold in open market, 
and driven in gangs to the southward ; but cargoes of human beings 
ceased to be landed in Philadelphia some years before the Revolution, 
and the general treatment of slaves was, in everyday practice, mild and 
humane. The constant manumission by individuals either by will or 
during their life increased the class of free blacks, to whom the laws 
gave ample and adequate protection. They were better than the same 
class in the southern States, and in a few exceptional cases were men 
of ability ; but as a rule they were idle and shiftless, sometimes dis- 
orderly and turbulent, and it was usual for the masters to pension 
their frcedmen in order to prevent their becoming a burden upon the 

The indented white servants in Pennsylvania formed a much larger 
and more important portion of the population than the slaves, whom 
they assisted in driving out by their own greater cheapness. They 
were chiefly Irish and German redemptioners, who sold themselves 
to pay their passage, and transported convicts, who at last became so 
numerous and troublesome that laws were passed to prevent their im- 
portation. There were also among these bond-servants many waifs 
from the London streets — children sold by their parents, and unhap- 
py beings who had been kidnapped and exported sometimes to fur- 
ther criminal schemes. Lord Altham was of this latter description, 
and romances were writt<!n by convicts and personations attempted of 
those who had been wrongfully forced into servitude, as the easiest 
method of disposing of them. The condition of indented servants 
was unenviable enough; but it was better in Pennsylvania than in 
the southern colonies. They were more humanely treated, and bet- 
ter fed and clothed, and the laws did not leave them utterly at their 
master's mercy. They could not be sold out of the province with- 
out their own consent ; and they could not be sold at all except be- 
fore a justice of the peace. The term of servitude was four yeai-s ; 
and if they had been faithful they were entitled not only to a 

' As to slavery in Pennsylvania, see Kalm^ i., 44, 387, and ft. ; Hist. Soc. Coll., 
i., 262; Penuaylvania Laws, 1700, 1710, 1724, 1761, 1771, 1778; Hist. Soc. Coll., 
Republ, i., Bcttlc, Kcgro Slavery in Pennsylvania ; Watson^s Annals, i., 201, and 
ii. ; Smith, Hist of Delaware County, 1750 ; Col. Records, i., 1707 ; xi., 1779 ; Mag- 
azine Amer. Hist., i., 231. In Delaware; Acrelius; Rochefoucauld, ii., 272 ; Bris- 
eot, Free Blacks, 238 ; Kalm, i., 894 ; Hist. Soc. Coll., ii., pt ii., Watson, Countrj 
Towns, Wilmington. 


fall discharge, but to a suit of clothes and some agricultural tools. 
They received five days additional servitude for every day's absence 
by flight, and were whipped for theft at the cart-tail. There was a 
severe penalty inflicted if they married without their master's con- 
sent; and women having bastard children were punished by addi- 
tional servitude. Any one who concealed a runaway servant, or who 
traded with them, was liable to a heavy fine. Many of them turned 
out well after emancipation, owing to the mildness of their treatment. 
The free servants who engaged by the year were a respectable class, 
and were sufficiently well paid to lay up money for a wedding outfit 
They formed a comparatively small class, but were numerous enough 
to remove in some measure the disgrace attendant upon service of 
any kind in the slave provinces.* 

From these classes, or rather from the first two, the criminals and 
paupers were recruited. Crime was probably no more common in 
Pennsylvania than in the other colonies, but pauperism certainly was ; 
and both subjects were better understood and more thoughtfully dealt 
with than elsewhere in America. In almost every English colony some 
new scheme of social regeneration was attempted, and even the sober- 
minded Quakers were touched with the infection of Utopian theories, 
and believed that they could overcome crime by fine, restitution, and 
imprisonment, without resort to the methods then in vogue. This was 
the system founded by Penn, under which murder was the only capital 
offence, and it was so far in advance of its time, and in details, indeed, 
of what was practicable, that failure was inevitable from the outset. 
It is sad as well as instructive to see how this benevolent plan went 
to pieces under the harsh pressure of circumstances. The liberal spirit 
of the founders which drew settlers was in itself a chief cause of its 
downfall, for many of the new-comers were of a very low class, and 
brought crime and poverty with them. The curse of pirates and 
smugglers, who infested the American coasts, fell heavily, also, upon 
Pennsylvania. These outlaws brought trade and specie to the strug- 
gling colonists, whose virtue was not proof against the temptation. 
The pirate Evans owned land in Philadelphia, and the famous Black- 
beard traded in their shops ; while oven the family of Penn's deputy, 
Markharo, was mixed up with these illicit dealings. The scandal and 

1 As to indented servants and free blacks, see Kalm, i., 29, 387, and ff. ; Penn- 
sylvania Laws, 1700, 1701, 1706, 1722 ; Hist. Soc. Coll., v., Sargent, Braddock»i 
Expedition, Introd. ; Watson, I and ii. ; Smith, Hist, of Pelaware County ; CoL 


injuiy wliich this caased to the province led finally to sti-ennoas meas- 
ures dn the part of tlie Assembly, and piracy was suppressed, but not 
wholly until twenty-five years* had elapsed. 

Besides this particular evil, vice in general increased under the influ- 
ence of a lai^e immigrati6n and the growth of towns. The Quakers 
attempted to meet the difficulty by proclamations and laws against vice 
and every f6rm of immoratity, from murder down to scolding, smok- 
ing in the streets, and working on Sunday, thereby trying to reach a 
class of oflfences which legislation cannot deal with directly. Their own 
morals, too, began to relax in the second generation. William Penn, 
the younger, not only went over to the Church of England, but, after 
the fashion of young gentlemen in London, raised a riot in the quiet 
Philadelphia streets, wrenched off knockers, beat the watch, and was 
finally arrested and brought into court, where the matter was bushed 
tip and the watch reprimanded. At last the new theory of criminal leg- 
islation was abandoned, in the year I7l8. Workhouses and jails were 
established, the number of capital offences was increased from one to 
fourteen ; every felony, except larceny, was made capit^il on a second 
offence, and matters went on in Pennsylvania in the ordinary fashion 
of the time.* 

At the time of the Revolution, while, as compared with England, the 
amount of crime was trifling, it was as compared with the other col- 
onies very considerable : and although infrequent, there was much vari- 
ety. About the middle of the century there was a good deal of hang- 
ing for house-breaking, horse-stealing, and counterfeiting. Highway 
robbery was not unknown, and informers were tarred and feathered in 
the back counties by a population loyal to the cause of untaxed liquors. 
In Philadelphia the disorders inaugurated by young Penn broke out 
at short intervals, assuming not infrequently the proportions of a dan- 
gerous riot. After the French war the town was thrown into a state 
of alarm by assaults with knives upon women who ventured out after 
dark. The habit of rioting spread to the other towns, and the brutal 
massacre by the Scotch-Irish " Paxton boys " of the Indians at Cones- 

> Pirates ; Hist. Soc. Coll., iv., 1702 ; Watson's Annals, i., 120, and ii. ; Smith, Hist 
of Delaware County, 1700 ; Col. Records, ii., 1700 ; iii,, 1717, 1718, 1782 ; Hist Rec 
of Pennsjlvania. 

• Hist Soc. Coll., i., 62, 260, 262; Pennsylvania Laws, 1700, 1701, 1706, 1718; 
Hist. Soc., iv., 1704, Affair of W. Penn, Junior; Watson, i., 1706; Col. Rec., I, 
1697, Letter from W. Penn, 1704, W. Penn^ Junior's, case; Smith, Hist of Dela- 
ware County, decrease of morality in Quakers of ^cond generation. 


toga was tbe moat notorious result of this tarl^ulent disposition. .Xbe 
rioters and the criminals were almost wholly Irish. Npt <Hie native or 
Englishman was found in any ten. of the inmates of jail^ and the un.- 
fortunate prominence of Pennsylvania in this respect was ajttrjihatable 
to the character of a large ppi::liion of her ifumigrapt^. . . > 

Rough and disorderly as were the back conntiesi they did, not de- 
velop the immorality which grew up in. Philadelphia ^ one of the al- 
most inseparable concomitai^ts of town lifp. Drinking was the curse 
of every part of the province ; but in Philadelphia duelling, although 
strongly discountenanced, was more oriess practised even by the cler* 
gy, and there is record of one reverend, gentleman who was killed, by 
a comet of horse. Lotteries^ at fir^t frowned upon, caipe to be the 
r^ular and recognized method of raising .money^ for churches and pub<- 
lic improvements, afforded an ample opportunity for general gam- 
bling, and were apparently the priucipal if not the only occasion for 
this sort of dissipation. In no respect were the Quakers more active 
than in their efforts to suppress all offences of a sexpal nature. The 
early laws regulating marriage were detailed, and strict in the extreme, 
and sharp measures were taken against all ," Jewd women." This legis- 
lation appears to have been effective. Prostitutes there were, of course, 
in Philadelphia ; but they were only to be found along the wharves 
and in the sailors' dens. The policy was, in fact, supported by public 
opinion. In the country a couple whose child was born too soon aft^r 
marriage were forced to stand at the whipping-post ; and in the Scotch- 
Irish communities those detected in illicit intercourse were cpmpelled 
to make public confession of their sin in churchy concluding with tb^ 


"For my own game have done this shame, 
Pray restore me to my lands again.'' 

The system of punishments conforming to the common theory, of 
the day relied principally upon " lashes well laid on.'' Men and wom- 
en were whipped for stealing, for bastards, and for all small offences. 
Tlie stripes were inflicted upon the market-day, and in the market- 
place, where stood the whipping-post, which was a great source of in- 
terest to the crowd, but fell far short of the pillory as a popular amuse- 
ment. The wretched criminals were placed in the pillory, the popu- 
lace gathered round, the price of eggs rose, and they were pelted and 
abused from morning till night ; while simple vagrants were turned 
loose, and pelted and bunted out of town. Criminals who could not 
pay fines were sold as servants for the public benefit As late as the 


jeair 1?31 a woman was burnt at the stake for the murder of her hus- 
band, and death was the penalty for many comparatively trifling of- 
fences. In 1772 even, the punishment for burning the State-house was 
death, and for breaking into it the pillory, lashes, and imprisonment 
The result of the constant infliction of the death penalty led gradu- 
ally to its evasion, as it did in England, and to its ultimate abolition. 
But, although the early schemes of the Quakers had no effect upon 
penalties, they bore good fruit in the matter of prisons and prison 
discipline. In the year 1732 prisoners were kept in filthy cells — 
usually under the court-house— naked, and covered with vermin. At 
the period of the Revolution the prisons of Philadelphia and the sys- 
tem of management were, on the testimony of foreign observers, the 
best in the world. In this direction genuine progress bad been made, 
and it was due wholly to the humane principles of the Quakers.* * 

The immigration to Pennsylvania was more fruitful of pauperism 
than crime, and the laws are full of attempts to stop by legislation the 
coming of **poor and impotent persons'' into the province. The un- 
limited opportunities of the new land did much to check the spread 
of pauperism, and in the country districts there was little or none. 
Such as there was in the province was concentrated in Philadelphia and 
its immediate neighborhood, and the government endeavored to deal 
with it systematically and thoroughly. In Philadelphia overseers of 
the poor were to be appointed by the mayor and two justices, and in 
the borough to be elected by the freeholders. These overseers were 
to lay rates to be levied like taxes ; poor children were to be bound 
out to service by the workhouse managers ; and no person was to be 
entered upon the poor-books without an order from two magistrates. 
The settlement laws, modelled on those of England, were extremely 
strict, and paupers were obliged to wear a large badge on their shoul- 
der to denote their condition ; but the whole amount of pauperism 

* As to crime, punishments, and prisons in Pennsylvania, see Crdvecoear, pp. 40, 
67 ; Brissot, p. 317 ; Abb6 Robin, p. 95 ; Hist Soc. Coll., i., 262, 1744 ; Pennsjlva- 
nia Laws, 1701, 1705, 1745, 1767, 1772 ; HUt. Soc. Coll., u., pt ii., Watson's Coun- 
try Towns ; Ibid., ill., Hist, of Bristol Borough ; Ibid., iv., 822 ; Watson's Annals, 
i., 25, 108, and fP., generally, 1781, 1750, 1760,1761 ; ii.,1698; and generally for 
crimes, lotteries, duelling, etc.; Rupp, Hist. Ijancaster County, 1789 ; Smith, Hist 
Delaware County, 1690, 1698, 1748; Chambers, A Tribute to Irish and Scotch 
Settlers ; The Quaker Unmasked ; Col. Rec, iii., 1726 ; vii., 1756, 1762 ; ix., 1765; 
Hazard, Pennsylvania Archives, 1737, 1773 ; Rochefoucauld, ii., 886,877; Penn- 
sylvania Hist Mag., i., Black's Journal, Wilmington ; Wansey, p. 167. 


was comparatively trifling, and the system shows a progressive public 

Another matter of morals, more directly connected, perhaps, with 
the condition of trade than anything else, was the standard of finan- 
cial honesty, and here we find a marked departure from the loose deal- 
ing and indiscriminate debts of the southern provinces. There were 
on the statute-book the customary laws to regulate interest, and acts 
characteristic of the American colonies, which released debtors on a full 
assignment of their property. The colony was also cursed heavily with 
the paper-money delusion, of which large amounts were emitted ; but 
in other respects the commercial spirit was predominant, and the stand- 
ard of business morality sound. Creditors' rights were fully protect- 
ed, and careful provision was made to prevent fraud under the acts 
for the relief of debtors. The aristocratic tendency cropped out cu- 
riously in a law of the year 1724, which permitted freeholders of 
fifty pounds to be arrested only on suit of the King, or on refusal 
to give security.* The people were honest; the general tone was 
sound in matters of morals ; there was no sympathy with crime or 
frauds on creditors ; and failures were a matter of deep and general 

The enlightened spirit of the Quakers in matters of social economy 
and improvement was strongly shown in their efforts to better the 
condition of the sick and insane by private as well as public benev- 
olence. In Philadelphia was the only lunatic asylum in America, 
where an attempt at least was made to alleviate the condition of this 
unhappy class, rendered doubly miserable by the treatment they usual- 
ly were subjected to at that period ; and in this respect, as in prison 
management, Pennsylvania was more advanced than Europe. Out- 
side of Philadelphia there was also a large brick hospital for men and 
women, to which was attached a reform school. Efforts were made, 
too, to combat, by proper sanitary regulations, the introduction of in- 
fectious diseases. There was a good soldiers' home, and various so- 
cieties existed for the furtherance of philanthropic objects, and for 
the care of the poor, aged, and infirm. All these matters of public 
health and morals show in Pennsylvania a much greater progress in 

^ As to pauperism, see Pennsjlvania Laws, 1738, 1748, 1765, 1771 ; Poor Lan\ 
cited in text, Watson, il, 1719 ; Col. Rec, iv^., 1738 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 8 ; ii., 272 ; 
Micbauz, p. 20. 

« Pennsylvania Laws, 1700, 1705, 1723, 1724, 1780, 1781 ; Watson, i., 174 and 
ff. ; Ibid., ii., Paper Money, 1778 ; Burnaby, p. 90. 


questions of social science than can be found in any of her sister 

The life, habits, and manners of the people varied greatly. Be- 
tween the inhabitants of the frontier and those of Philadelphia great 
differences necessarily existed; and between these extremeB were the 
different classes of farmers, ranging from the pioneer settlers of the 
backwoods to the great landholders of the eastern counties. The life 
of the backwoodsmen, contrasting strongly with that of the denizens 
of the capital, was rude and simple in the extreme. The pioneers 
cleared a little tract in the forest, began to farm in a rough sort of 
fashion, and hunted, and traded with the Indians. A log-hoase of 
the simplest construction gave shelter to the settler and his family. 
The men dressed in hunting-shirts and l^gings, the women in bed- 
gowns and linsey petticoat, while young and old went barefoot in 
warm weather. The two bare rooms were festooned with the gar- 
ments of the family; the utensils were of pewter; china, glass, and 
silver were unknown, and the furniture was all of home manufacture. 
'* Hog and hominy " were the principal articles of food, varied, when 
the chase proved fortunate, by roast venison. The amusements were 
as rude as the appliances of comfort There was much drinking on 
all occasions, wild dancing, and rough sports ; but the great event was 
a marriage. The widely scattered neighbors then gathered from all 
sides, to fell trees, shape logs, and build the one room, called by a 
stretch of courtesy the house of the young couple. Then followed 
the house-warming, with unlimited drinking and dancing. The new- 
ly-married pair withdrew at an early hour from the scene to the attic, 
where pork and cabbage were libendly supplied to them by the com- 
pany below, who kept up the festivities with enduring zeal. At all 
public meetings there was a good deal of pretty savage fighting, 
and the border conflicts between the Irish and Oermans make a 
dark chapter in the colonial annals of Pennsylvania. At one time 
the former, under the lead of Cresap, endeavored systematically to 
drive their more thrifty and industrious rivals from the western 
country ; and another bloody struggle, extending over twenty years, 
was caused by the efforts of Connecticut men to settle in Wyoming. 
This came at times to open and regular war with the government, 
and resulted in the victory of the hardy intruders, and the estab- 

* Smyth, ii., 809 ; Abb4 Robin, p. 96 ; Brissot, pp. 167, 176 ;^Bamaby, pp. 77, 96 ; 
Pennsylvania Laws, 1770; Col. Records, iv., 1741, 1742; Rochefoucauld, ii., 377. 


Ikhraent of the democratic gOFenunent of the New Epgland town- 

Passiog from the rade oatposts of civilizaUon toward the east^ we 
come upon the great farming class which, in all its ?arieties, formed 
the bulk and the strength of die Pennsylvanian population. The 
farms near the border partook to a certain extent of the character 
of backwoods clearings, and their occupants were rather rough in life 
and habits. This was the region wher^ the continual contest went 
on with the ^' accursed Irish," as their German opponents styled them. 
Heip, too, the Irish brought on themselves the hostility of the gov- 
ernment, which forbade them to settle in York or Lancaster, and at- 
.tempted to remove them to the west From this iifild they carried 
their quarrels to the Assembly, and divided the l<^slature into two 
parties— on one side the Quakers and Germans, on the other the rest 
of the English and the Irish, who succeeded, usually, in obtaining the 

But these outlying settlements, with their fends and struggles, were 
not the type of the agricultural population. The Pennsylvania farm- 
ers belonged, as a rule, to the substantial, permanenti and best class 
of freeholders. They were, for the period, scientific and economical 
farmers, and thoroughly well off, which was especially the case with 
the Germans, who were thrifty, temperate, never in debt, and whose 
. women-folk labored in the fields. The farms, worked for the most 
part by bond - servants or hired laborers who received high wages, 
were rich, and yielded good crops. The owners were themselves prac- 
tical farmers, working in the fields with their men, and snperintending 
everything. A Russian traveller, going to visit John Bartram, found 
the eminent botanist in the fields with his farm-hands. The style of 
living was not infrequently marked by a patriarchal simplicity. Mas- 
ter and men all dined together in one large room, where, at the lower 
end of the table, sat the negroes ; then came the white servants and 
the hired men ; and then the master and his family. Food was ev- 
erywhere plentiful and simple ; and the dress, generally consisting of 
leather breeches and hempen jackets, was coarse and substantial. In 

i Backwoods Life; Michauz, p. 29 ; The Olden Time, p. 141 ; flist Soc. Coll., v., 
Sargent's Hist of BraddoclL's Exped., Introd. Memoir; Rupp, Hist of Lancaster 
County ; Stone's Hist of Wyoming. 

* Watson, ii., 1748 ; Rupp, Hist of Lancaster County; Ibid., Hist of Northamp. 
ton, etc ; Chambers, Defence of Scotch and Irish ; £tat Present de la Pennsylra- 


the eastern counties were the Quaker farms, models of neatness and 
well-being, where the houses were usually of brick, thoroughly built, 
and plastered and papered ; the furniture heavy and well made ; the 
linen white, and the glass and china of good quality. On every farm 
honey was made and cattle raised, while large orchards clustered about 
the houses, protected only by hurdles, and open to the wayfarers, who 
plucked the fruit unmolested. In the east there were also gardens, 
abounding in every sort of vegetable ; and the estates, not only of the 
wealthy but of the prosperous farmers, had each their fish-pond.^ 
The farms were scattered through the forest — here a group of two or 
three, and then again a single clearing, but never at great distances 
from each other in the older settlements. Near Philadelphia the farm- 
houses changed to handsome villas, and here and there were great 
manors, of which the most famous was Penn's scat at Pennsbury, with 
a large mansion-house richly furnished. Keith's house, which was an- 
other of the same class, was sixty feet front, wainscoted throughout, 
with large rooms and a broad oak staircase. Baron StiegeFs house 
at Mannheim was built of imported brick, and had a private chapel, 
while over the high wainscots landscapes were painted or tapestry 
hung on the walls, and the fireplaces were decked with porcelain tiles. 
Other leading men, like Logan, bad great estates, and fine houses of a 
similar character. 

The farming class was throughout one of great prosperity. Ma^ 
riage was young, and very fruitful. Sons were easily provided for» 
and daughters soon married. The people were temperate and healthy, 
infant mortality not large, and the increase of population rapid. 
Tradesmen in the small towns made money quickly, and would in- 
sure fortune to industrious children by establishing them on a farm 
in the neighborhood. The rapid material development of Pennsylva- 
nia may be measured by the growth of means of transportation from 
rude sleds of the early days to nine thousand wagons employed in the 
farm service at the close of the French war.* 

Luxury was almost unknown, although solid comfort abounded. 

> Cr6vec<»ur, pp. 1 and ff., 110 ; Brissot, pp. 164, 287 ; Kalm, i., YO, 87, 124, 149, 
216, 307 ; Memoirs of Elkauah Watson, p. 81 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 8 ; Hist. Soc. Coll, 
ii., pt. ii., Watson, Country Towns ; Ibid., xi., Acrelius ; Ibid, i., Watson's Account 
of Bucks, etc. 

• Bumaby, pp. 76, 86 ; Hist Soc. Coll., i., Mooreland, pp. 197 and ff. ; Ibid., Repub- 
lication, Keith's House ; Ibid., ix., Penn*s House ; Pennsylvania Hist. Mag., i., 66, 
Stiegers House ; Watson's Annals, i., 19 ; ii. ; Rochefoucauld, i., 29, 82; 


The daily life and habits remained primitive until the middle of the 
eighteenth century, when a marked change began. Tea and coffee 
inrere then introduced, and many of the worthy country people boiled 
the leaves of the former and ate them with butter. Straw carpets, 
too, began to make their appearance, but were strongly opposed by 
old house-keepers, who protested that they gathered dust, and that 
the bare sanded floor alone was decent. The Swedish beer, the Eng- 
lish ale, and the brandy of the early settlers were gradually replaced by 
punch, liquors, and wines of every variety, and the same changes made 
themselves felt in their amusements. In early times the great festivals 
were the weddings. Then the rare finery was put on, and there was 
a great deal too much drinking, and '* vain practice '* of firing guns, 
condemned at Quaker meeting, and games and dances of a very loose 
sort, presenting scenes apparently not unlike the famous ^^ Eermesse '* 
of Rubens. Gradually this sobered down. Weddings came to be held 
generally at the house, and only the poor were married and proclaimed in 
church ; while the riotous feasting diminished and disappeared, or drift- 
ed away to the borders of the province. Wi^ the last ceremonies of 
death the same rule held true. The bodies were still borne out through 
the woods on men's shoulders, and laid quietly and simply in mother 
earth, but the subsequent eating and drinking declined. 

Other customs held their own better. The rare events of country 
life w^re seized upon in the recurring seasons and enjoyed to the full. 
Seed-time and harvest, husking and cider-pressing, house-raising and 
vendues, shooting -matches, sleighing, and Christmas sports, were al- 
ways the occasions of social gatherings. There was a good deal of 
drinking, and still more dancing, and in every hamlet the fiddler was 
an important personage. Vendues and fairs, legal and illicit, drew 
all the youth of both sexes to the little towns for a day of boister- 
ous fun, terminating frequently in fist fights of a rather brutal char- 

In such a community, simple in tastes and habits, equal in fort- 
une and never idle, there was little place for a strong aristocracy ; 
and yet the aristocratic principle prevailed in gentle fashion in all 
the older settlements, and there was a simple, conservative, country 
respect for superiors everywhere apparent. Each village had its 
*' squire," the local magnate and magistrate, looked up to by all, who 
rode or walked about with cocked hat and powdered wig, broad ruf- 
fles and gold-headed cane, or who sat at the nearest inn, where he tried 
the petty offenders of the neighborhood and dispensed substantial 


justice.' The people were emiiiMitly soeial> and, despite the hard tnv- 
elling, visited each other continually. Almost all joumeja, great and 
smalli were made on horseback. Men and women rode to church and 
to market The bride went to the wedding on a pillion behind her 
father, and returned seated on another behind her husband. Some time 
before the Revolution chaises b^;an to come into use ; but the roads 
were so bad, even in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, that it was 
pleasanter to ride for seven days to Pittsburgh than to go to the same 
place on wheels. In the eastern counties stage lines were established, 
in 1756, to go to New York in three days; and ten years later an- 
other, known as the ^^ Flying Machine,*' was advertised to perform the 
dbtance in two days. Other lines of coaches sprang from this, te 
Baltimore and to Oermantown, and the post-chaise soon ceased te 
be unknown ; but although Pennsylvania was imbued with the spirit 
of trade, which did something to facilitate travel, the inns remained 
deplorably bad, except in Philadelphia; and even there most of them 
were simply ale-houses. Over these taverns swung the signs of the 
last century, with heads of king and generals upon them, and doggerel 
verses beneath — ^an English custom long since extinct The fare af- 
forded by these inns was far from good ; and although travellers speak 
of cleanliness as a virtue highly prized in America, yet the colonial 
landlords were unable to understand why Europeans should object to 
dining with the landlord — usually a leading man in the village, or 
sleeping two in a bed, or should desire such luxuries as fresh sheets. 
But if the inns were poor, their deficiencies were more than made up 
by the genuine and universal hospitality of the counlay people. The 
traveller might stop at the first farm he came to, and be sure of as 
hearty a welcome nearly as ho would have had at home. The deter- 
mination of the people to travel and move from place to place, and 
the restless spirit of trade, did much more than any rude facilities to 
prevent the isolation which formed so marked a feature in Virginian 

* Hist Soc. Coll, l, Mooreland, p. 197 and if. ; Ibid., Republ., Watson^s Account 
of Buckingham, etc., and ii., pt. ii., Country Towns ; Watson's Annals, i., 19; ii., Lo- 
cal Magistrates, etc. ; Smith's Hist of Delaware County ; Hist Col, ill, Holm's 
Hist ; xi., Acrelias ; Ferris, Original Settlements on the Delaware. 

' Travelling, etc. ; Observations of John Bartram, p. 11 ; Rochefoucauld, i., 68, 
140 ; Narr. of Prince do Broglie, Magazine Amer. Hist, i., 231 ; Hist Soc. Coll., i., 
Mooreland, p. 197 and ff. ; il, Watson's Country Towns ; Huguenot Family in Vir- 
gmia,p.802; Michauz, p. 29 ; Cr^vecoeur, p. 72 ; Chateaubriand, vil, 17; firissot 


Despite all these liberalizing and enl^htening habits and opporta- 
nities, there was, owing to tb^ strong infnsion of foreign blood, more 
superstitions ignorance atnong the country people of Pennsylvania 
than' among those of any other colony. The earliest instance ap- 
peared in a trial for witchcraft in the year 1683. One Margaret 
Matson was tried, on perfectly trivial evidence, for bevntching cows 
and geese, and appearing at the foot of the accuser's bed. Penn and 
his Council had the good sense to find the woman not guilty accord- 
ing to the terms of the indictment^ but guilty of common fame as 
a witch ; and they bound her in the sum of one hundred pounds to 
good behavior.^ This was the only genuine witch case under the mild 
Quaker rule ; but the statute of James I. was in force, was recognized 
by the Assembly, and received the formal approval of George II. and 
his CJouncil.* The belief in witchcraft, however, manifested itself in 
other forms. About the year 1693 presentations were made by the 
grand -jury against astrology, necromancy, geomaney, and divining- 
rods.' But the law was powerless, and superstition flourished, espe- 
cially among the Germans, down to the time of the Revolution. Red 
ribbons were tied on the horns of cattle to guard against conjurations ; 
divining-rods were in high repute ; dogs were burnt to drive away 
witches ; love-spells, charms, rings, herbs, and the like, were widely 
used; and when the lightning-rod appeared it was strongly resisted, 
and even proscribed by some sects. Second-sight found many believ- 
ers, and haunted spots and ghost-ridden houses were common to every 
hamlet. So fertile a field produced the usual crop of impostors and 
swindlers, who professed, after the manner of modem quacks and spir- 
itualists, to be possessed of devils and spirits, to see ghosts, to cure 
diseases, discover hidden treasures, and reveal the places where the 
pirates buried their ill-gotten gold. Most of these magicians were of 
German extraction, and in the early times there were some connected 
with the fanatical sects who were not without learning. One Dr. 
Witt fiourished as late as the year 1765, and as astrologer and Rosi- 
crucian did a thriving business. This prevalent superstition shows a 
weak element among the people of Pennsylvania, and was one which 

pp. 219, 862 ; Wansey, p. 176 ; Pennsylvania Laws, 1710 ; Hist, Soc., iii., Hist. Bris- 
tol Borough ; Watson^s Annals, i. and ii. ; Stage-coaches and Taverns, Col. Rec, i., 
1697 ; vii., 1766. 

> Hist. Soc. Coll., iii., Hist, of Bristol Borough, p. 8, note ; Col. Records, i!., 1700. 

* Watson's Annals, L 

' Smith, Hist, of Delaware County ; Watson's Annals, i. 


it took years of civilization to wholly eradicate/ It indicates, also, a 
very general ignorance, which was singularly great in a population so 
largely composed of the English middle and dissenting class, bat 
which, like the superstition, wa& due undoubtedly to the foreign im- 
migration. The Germans as a rule wore far behind the English in 
point of information, although they produced some distinguished 
men, like Rittenhouse and Muhlenburg; and the same held true of the 
Swedes and Dutch, and in a less degree of the Irish. The German 
and Swedish pastors made great efforts to remedy this state of affairs 
by establishing schools in connection with the churches, but they 
met with little success. The Scotch and Irish Presbyterian clergy, 
more active and more zealous, fared better, and did good work with 
their country schools, known at this time as '^ log collies." But the 
general condition of education in the rural districts was wretched in 
the extreme. School-houses were few and small, and rudely built of 
logs, and even these did not begin to appear much before the middle 
of the eighteenth century. The barest rudiments only were taught, 
and those badly, and for small fees. There was little learning, loose 
order, and much whipping everywhere. There was no public system 
of schools, and education was almost wholly in the hands of itinerant 
masters, who were frequently convicts and foreigners ; and even they 
generally abandoned a profession where the fee of a scholar was only 
five shillings a quarter. The case was a little better in the towns, 
such as Wilmington ; but the educational efforts of the English, who 
were the governing race, seem, except in the case of private schools 
kept by individual clergymen, to have been confined to the capital.* 

In Philadelphia there was much activity and progress in education 
from the earliest years of the settlement In the year 1683, Enoch 
Flower, assisted by the municipal government, opened the first school ; 
and this was followed six years later by a public school, which was 
sustained by the Quakers, and finally chartered by Penn in 1711. In 
the year 1V43 the energy of Franklin produced a plan for a universi- 
ty, which was abandoned at the time, but revived six years later, when 
an academy, where Latin, English, and mathematics were taught, was 

1 Watson -8 Annals, i. and ii.; Hist. Soc., Mooreland, i., 197 and ff. ; v., Sargent's 
Braddock's Expedition, Introd. Memoir. 

• Briflsot, p. 290 ; Hist. Coll., i., Mooreland, p. 197 and ff. ; Ibid., !., RepubL, Wat- 
son's Country Towns ; Rupp, Hist of Northampton County ; Chambers, A Tribute 
to the Scotch and Irish ; Rochefoucauld, i., 98 ; Ferris, Original Settlements on the 
Delaware ; Hist Soc., zi., Acrelius. 


opened, together with cbarity-scliools. The institution prospered, was 
chartered in the year 1755, and a college was added, with tolerably 
extensive courses of study. So great was the need that within seven 
years there were four hundred students in all the departments ; dor- 
mitories were built, subscriptions raised in England as well as in the 
province, and professors of good character and sufficient learning were 
employed. This was the foundation of the University of Pennsyl- 
vania, considered at the time one of the best, if not the very best, in 
the colonies, and drawing its students from the whole province.' 

Philadelphia was not only the centre of education in the province, 
but also of literature, arts, and science. The first two were, of course, 
still in their infancy, but they had an existence and the promise of a 
good future, while in science the great name of Franklin not only placed 
Pennsylvania at the head of the colonies, but gave her a high position 
in the* scientific world. The influence of that remarkable man was 
felt, not only in his great discoveries, in politics, and in every form of 
public improvement, but it leavened and stimulated the whole intel- 
lectual development of the province. The early literary efforts here, 
as elsewhere in America, were devoted to descriptions of the country, 
and controversial pamphlets and sermons ; but even then was to be 
found a promise of better things. James Logan, the leading man in 
the province, was not only a politician, but a scholar versed in many 
languages, and the author of a translation from Cicero's De Senectute. 
Then came Andrew Bradford, the first printer, and the editor of the 
first newspaper, with a large book-store and bindery, where he pub- 
lished almanacs, the popular literature of the day, and sold, besides 
Bibles, dictionaries, and grammars, Virgil, the Spectator ^ Tatler, Guar- 
dian, and Fenelon. His newspaper was at once a source of fame and 
trouble, for liberty of the press was no better understood in the col- 
onies than in the mother country at that period. A very harmless 
paragraph about the finances in the year 1721 brought Bradford be- 
fore the Council, whence he escaped with an apology and a severe rep- 
rimand. A few years later he was again in custody for letters which 
he had allowed to appear in the Mercury. This time he stood firm, 
was thrown into prison, refused to retract, the case against him was 
dropped, and he gained a substantial victory as a defender of the 

> Hist Soc. Coll., iii., Hist of University; Smyth, p. 808 ; Raynal, p. 120 ; Me- 
iDoin.of a Life in Fennsylyania, p. 16 ; Ealm, i., 46 ; Buroaby, p. 85 ; Wallace, Hist. 
Address, 1872 ; Watson's Annals, i. and il 


liberty of the press. Daring Bradford's career Frankliii had come 
upon the scene, and began the pablication which first made him hr 
mou& Aronnd him gathered a number of yoang men, members of 
his club, and literary Bohemians for the most part, who wrote Tcrses 
of all degrees of merit, essays and political disquisitions, and gave to 
the young press a liveliness and originaHty which could not be found 
in any other colony. This literary activity was believed to give prom- 
ise of a great literary future, and it certainly led to more extended 
reading and more ambitious efforts at authorship. The Letters of 
Junius were read in the province as widely as in England, and called 
up a crowd of imitators, while satires and epigrams were much in 
vogue, and many fair translations from ancient writers found their 
way into print. But among and outside of the imitators of Pope, of 
the poetasters, and satirists, and writers of political tracts and squibs, 
were men who did real service to their kind, and who gained and de- 
served enduring fame. At the head of all stands Benjamin Franklin, 
versatile, subtle, acute, in some respects the greatest intellect the New 
World has yet produced. There is no need to dwell upon his acts or 
to recall his writings. From " Poor Richard " and the lightning-rod, 
down to the fire company and the iron stove, they are all aa familiar 
as household words. But among Franklin's friends, and even outside 
his circle, were men who did good work in the world. 

Thomas Godfrey, the glazier, a self-taught mathematician, invented 
the quadrant, while his son produced the first American drama, Arta- 
banus and Evanthe, and, later, the Prince of Parthia, modelled on Dry- 
den's Oriental plays, and not far short of their very mediocre originals 
in merit. John Bartram, the simple Quaker farmer, with deep love 
of nature, careful observation, and patient study, won a European rep- 
utation as a botanist ; and his son, William, followed in his footsteps 
with considerable credit. In the year 1732 Rittenhouse was bom, and 
in 1768 completed his first orrery. Public encouragement was not 
lacking, for at the same time the Assembly voted one hundred pounds 
for a telescope, and a year later the Philosophical Society erected a 
platform for the observation of the transit of Venus. In the year 1771 
Rittenhouse received three hundred pounds for his orrery. Much, too, 
was done by the medical profession in the way of public instruction ; 
and the lectures of Dr. Spencer on the eye, and on light and color, 
accompanied by experiments with the microscope, were the fashiona- 
ble entertainments of the day. The desire for knowledge ran strong- 
ly in the upper classes. There were many private libraries, small, but 


furnished ^ith ibe classics of the time — Goldsmith, Fielding, Don 
Qaixote, Gil Bias ; and the taste of the community is strongly shown 
by the publication of Blackstone, Robertson's Charles Y., and Fergu- 
son's Essays; great enterprises for the time, and carried through by 
the local publishers. Booksellers usually eked out their income by 
the sale of more material articles, but the character of their stock of 
books is the important feature in this connection. Besides the taste 
for reading, music and painting were also cultivated by those who had 
leisure, and not without success. Philadelphia, says the historian of 
American literature, was a literary centre of more activity than any 
except Boston. 

This is apparent also in the public press. Not only newspapers 
were set on foot, but magazines and reviews were attempted. At the 
time of the Revolution there were two English newspapers and one 
German in the colony. They had the latest and most accurate for- 
eign intelligence in detail, little local news, and a correspondence sup- 
plying the place filled now by editorials, which was not without merit. 
Philadelphia, not only as a great port, but from its geographical 
position, was the centre of news on the continent. A post was es- 
tablished by Penn as soon as he had founded his colony, which ran 
at great expense, and the delay of which for six weeks by snow 
caused the inhabitants '^ to pass the time very melancholy." In the 
year 171 7 mail-lines were opened to Virginia and Maryland, and let- 
ters were carried to the south at enormous rates of payment. Here, 
too, was subsequently the head of the whole continental postal sys- 
tem, which it was one of Franklin's greatest achievements to make 
not only efQcient but profitable. The city stood alone in possessing 
two public libraries — the one founded by Franklin, the other by Lo- 
gan. Both had good collections of standard English works, besides 
some in French and Latin ; and Franklin's contained also roathemafe- 
ical and physical instruments. Thus Philadelphia had many advaa- 
tages to ofEer. As the great news centre, she was in constant contact 
with the world beyond the sea, whose thoughts and feelings were 
carried to her doors by each succeeding packet; while the scientific 
exploits of Franklin brought pre-eminence in one great field, and the 
literary activity and budding arts showed a disposition to enter upon 

' Literature, eta, in Pennsylyania, see Raynal, p. 120 ; Brisaot, p. 278 ; Ealm, i., 
44, 56 ; Bumaby, p. 76 ; Hist. Soc., i., 196, 423 ; Wallace, Hist. Address, 1872 ; Phil- 



Such intellectaal development indicates a social life and habits, and 
manners far more advanced than those of the country districts or of 
the southern States. The Philadelphians were a trading community; 
the large land -owners, supported by the revenues of their estates, 
forming but a small fraction of the upper classes, which were com- 
posed in the main of rich merchants, carrying on an extensive trade, 
and of professional men. The middle classes were made up of small 
traders and shopkeepers, and the lowest of the laborers, and those who 
followed the sea. There was also a large suburban and floating pop- 
ulation, who came in daily to business, or flocked in twice a week to 
the bustling market, and crowded the town, filling it with life and 
movement when the great faira were held. 

Most of the citizens lived in rooms over their shops, which were 
tended by their wives and daughters; and their daily life was as 
^ober, monotonous, and respectable as their Quaker garb. They still 
preserved the customs and traditions of their founder, which were 
rapidly giving way before the accumulation of wealth, the increase 
of luxury, and the presence of ever- increasing sects, whose leading 
tenets were not simplicity of dress or manners. But the traders and 
shopkeepers differed only in degree from the upper classes, whose 
i^ode of life has been preserved for us in many ways. The old 
style of living was one of extreme simplicity, but luxury began to 
come in rapidly after the middle of the eighteenth century, when tea 
and coffee came into general use, the bare floors began to be car- 
peted, and the bare wall^ papered. There was in every way plenty of 
substantial comfort. The houses were large, broad, with dormer-win- 
dows and balconies, and usually in the midst of pretty gardens. Tbc 
rooms were low and spacious, with heavy wainscots and large open 
fireplaces ; while the furniture and silver were plain and massive, but 
handsome, and often rich. 

The luxury which began to show itself in the houses appeared 
much sooner in the matter of dress. Philadelphia was the social cen- 
tre, and the English fashions came early, and were carried to a great 
height. Old men carried gold-headed canes and gold snuffboxes, and 
had huge silver buttons on their richly-laced drab coats as a mark of 
distinction, while men of all ages wore vast wigs, and many rich velvet 

adelphia Hist. Soc, Annual Discourse, 1869 ; Hist. Soc. Coll., i., Republ. Prov. Lit. ; 
Hist. Soc., ii., pt. il ; ix., 1769, 1704, Letters from Norris to Zachary ; Hist Mag., i.. 
Black's Journal ; Watson's Annals, i., ii., Libraries and Newspapers ; Tyler, Hist, 
of American Literature. 


and silk. The young men of fashion wore ewords and laced hats 
and coats, for which red cloth was common even among boys. The 
amoant of color in men's dress, according to the fashion of the times, 
is now almost inconceivable. A lady, strack with the appearance of 
some gay fellow at a ball, addressed him in the following lines : 

*' Mine a tall youth shall at a ball be seen, 
Whose legs are like the spring, all clothed in green ; 
A yellow ribbon ties his long cravat, 
And a large knot of yellow cocks his h^t" 

The women dressed in the extreme of the fashion. Flowered staffs 
of every variety — brocades, satins, velvets, and silks — were much in 
vogue, and hours were spent in the construction of tall head-dresses 
and mounds of hair. They wore masks in cold weather, and carried 
fans of ivory with pictured sides. Even the Quakers gave way ; and, 
while the stricter members wore plain but rich materials, a portion of 
the sect, known as Wet Quakers, yielded to the fascinations of pow- 
der, silver buckles, and bright colors. 

The men of Philadelphia — young and old — were regularly occu- 
pied with business and trade ; while the women of the family in the 
middle classes tended the shop ; and those of higher rank cared for 
the house, played the spinet, walked a great deal, and worked end- 
less pieces of embroidery, povered with impossible landscapes. Al- 
though the life of a trading town and the constant presence of 
strangers chilled the hospitality which was so marked in the country 
districts, there was a constant social intercourse, and an unfailing round 
of amusements for both sexes. Fishing-clubs with pleasant houses on 
the river, glutton clubs for the consumption of turtle and madeira, 
and social clubs abounded. In winter there was sleighing and skating, 
besides dancing parties and assemblies, where the social line was strict- 
ly drawn, as in the case of a young lady of good position, who, having 
married a jeweller, was forthwith excommunicated. In summer there 
were great fairs, with amusements like bear and bull baiting, and oxen 
roasted whole, in which all ranks joined, and for the wealthy there 
were fishing and sailing parties and picnics. To theatres there was a 
strong opposition. The first company, composed of natives, was sup- 
pressed in the year 1*749 by the magistrates; but five yeare later an 
English company was licensed, on condition that their plays contained 
nothing indecent or immoral, and they seem to have met with success, 
and to have drawn fashionable audiences. In the year 1758 a theatre 
was built outside the city limits, despite the relentless opposition of 


both Qoakers and Presbyterians, who took- the matter into the courts, 
where permission was obtained for the performances which thus be- 
came thoroughly established. As a rule, however, the spirit of the 
Quakers and of the community generally was very liberal in respect to 
all forms of amusement, although one of our French allies, M. Claude 
Blanchard, murmured because his landlady objected to cards on Sunday. 

There was evidently abundance of comfort and good-living, although 
manners were in many respects curiously pnmitive. In summer the 
yonng ladies always put on full dress for the evenings, and sat in the 
porches of the houses, while the young men strolled about from house 
to house and made visits. Dinner, and even fashionable dinner-par^ 
ties, were at twelve o'clock, and in the afternoon calls were made, and 
there was much tea-drinking, and at sundown supper was served. If 
there were no ballsy the men then went to their clubs, which were quite 
numerous, and which met at the taverns, where there was more supper, 
a great consumption of wine, and a plentiful flow of discussion, chiefly 
of a political nature. Marriages, especially among the Quakers, were 
always occasions of great festivity. The banns were pronounced at 
two successive meetings, and on each occurrence there was a recep- 
tion ; while the wedding entertainment sometimes extended over two 
days, during which time there was open house kept for all comers. 
The marriages, however, were outdone by the funerals, which were 
attended with immense pomp and parade. The body was borne 
from the house by friends, and was followed to the grave by a long 
procession, generally on horseback, and sometimes numbering sevei'al 
thousands. Then ensued the usual eating and drinking, and distribu- 
tion of scarfs and rings. The expense and extravagance became so 
great in this respect that a strong effort, following the example of 
Boston and New York, was made to stop the outlay at funerals. 

From what can now be gathered, it is evident that society was agree- 
able in Philadelphia, and manners, if not easy, pleasant, and good-nat- 
ured. " They are as far behind ns in etiquette," says the Abbe Robin, 
" as they are ahead of us in legislation ;" and the statement is proba- 
bly correct. However good manners may have been, they were tinged 
with provincialism, and were not highly polished. This was equally 
true of the women, who were agreeable, good-looking, well-bred, and 
often accomplished, but who lacked the grace and ease of Europe. 
But however much elegance and refinement of manner may have 
been wanting, the wholesome virtue of a simple society was still re- 
tained ; adultery was unknown, and gallantry and intrigue had no 


existence* The women prided tbeinselves on tbeir fidelity to their 
hnsbands and their devotion to their children; and the Frenchmen 
of the Revolution, who p&raded their mistresses in the streets, were 
T^arded with unfeigqed disgust. Marriages were wholly from incli- 
nation, and there was but little parental control in such matters. 
This simplicity, as has been said, did not reach dress «r amusements, 
nor the general style of living aonong the wealthy. Besides hack- 
ney-coaches and other conveniences of that sort, there were many 
handsome private carriages and fine equipages. There were nume^ 
ous slaves and servants in every rich family, generally in livery, and 
large studs of horses were maintained. In the suburbs were exten- 
sive tea-gardens, places of great popular resort, where there were fire- 
works, billiards, and bowling-greens, and where much time was spent 
in the season of pleasant weather. The wholo mode of life was that 
of a rich, comfortable, and rather self-indulgent trading community, 
which grew apace, and where fortunes were easily acquired/ 

The political habits and modes of thought difi^ered widely in some 
respects from those of the southern and eastern groups, and were typ- 
ical of the middle provinces ; for narrow as were the domestic politics 
of all the colonies, they were especially contracted in Pennsylvania, 
whicli was due principally to the Quakers, who as a sect struggled 
bard to retain their supremacy. The usual quarrels with the governors, 
always pushed far in the stress of war, were carried to great extremes 
when fortified by the peace principles of the Friends. In the French 
war the selfish supineness and indifference of Pennsylvania seem al* 
most inconceivable when we remember the savage warfare which 
raged upon the borders, and how the other colonies fought their 
own and England's battles. The Quakers, who were mainly respon- - 
sible, retained their power by playing off the GeiTnans, with whom 
they were allied, against the rest of the English and the Scotch and 

^ For manners, customs, and amusements, Watson^s Annals of Philadelphia fur- 
nish an inexhaustible store ; see also Smyth, i., 808 ; Abb6 Robin, pp. 89, 94 ; Cha- 
teaubriand, vii., 17, 19 ; Brissot, pp. 160, 270, 271, 272, 276, 303, 824, 844 ; Raynal, 
i., 116 ; Blanchard^s Journal, p. 188 ; Memoirs of a Life in Pennsylvania, pp. 24, 45, 
105 ; Kalro, i., 29, 48, 54, 103 ; Bumaby, pp. 77, 86, 87 ; Wansey, p. 127 ; Memoirs 
of Schuylkill Fishing Club ; Hist. Soc, i., Mooreland, p. 197 and ff., 867 ; Bent. Hist. 
Soc., Address Wash. House ; Wallace, ibid., 1872 ; Hist. Soc. Coll., ix. ; Pennsylva. 
nia Hist. Mag., i., Black's Journal for Daily Life ; also for same, Shippen Papers, 
edited by Thomas Balch ; Hazard, Archives of Pennsylvania, 1754 ; Elkanah Wat- 
son, Memoirs ; Mag. of Amer. Hist., i., 281, Narr. of Prince de Broglie ; Rochefou- 
cauld,' ii., 881, 884, 888 ; Hist. Soc., il., pt ii., Watson, Country Towns. 


Irish, who famished a turbulent element, which formed a strong con- 
trast to the peaceable politics of their opponents. Election riots were 
by no means uncommon, and in the disposal of offices there appears 
to hare been a good deal of intrigue and corruption of the sort then 
familiar in England.' 

In regard to the mother country, the people, Franklin said, were 
*^ docile, and led by a thread */' and that the colony was warmly at- 
tached to England, there is here, as elsewhere, CTery evidence, as in the 
loyal addresses called forth by the death of the Prince of Wales and 
the defeat of the Pretender ; but there were also the usual grievances, 
such as the injurious laws of trade, and the attempts at impressment, 
while the large number of foreigners did much to weaken the bonds. 
All this was enhanced by the conduct of the British, who behaved 
with their customary short-sighted arrogance to the ^* Mohairs,^ as 
they contemptuously termed the Americans, by whom they were al- 
ways treated with regard and respect. But there was nothing strong 
or aggres^ve in the attitude of Pennsylvania, and the Quakers were 
eminently conservative and slow in action.* The sense of being a col- 
ony, and not bom to the soil, was apparently very marked. ^^ Cette 
societ^,^^ says Chateaubriand, ''sans aieux et sans souvenirs;*^* and 
this was to a large extent trae, not only on account of the foreign 
element, but because of the origin and character of the people. The 
memory of great hardships, of difficulties overcome, of efforts for 
great principles, which gave force and character to Viiginia and Mas- 
sachasetts, were lacking to the middle provinces^ The Pennsylvani- 
ans were essentially shopkeepers and traders, pro^>erous and content- 
ed, with a loose social system and a heterogeneous population. Their 
politics and their character were conservative and at times timid ; and 
when independence was at stake, they were a weight upon the action 
of Virginia and Massachusetts, who dragged them forward irresistibly 
on the inevitable path. At the period of the adoption of the consti- 
tution their conservative tendencies again came into play, and were 
of vast importance; and thus they continued the uncertain balance 
l*etween the great contending forces, social and political, of their 
southern and northern brethren. 

' H:>i. Soc, ColL, n«, Acne-liu* ; Watson's Annals, L, iL ; QuikeTS Unmasked ; 
Eut rrvJon: de la rennsvlranie; Answer to a Brief ^satement; CoLBcoot^tT^ 
1742 ; T^ i:>> ; Shipjv^n Papers, eJ, by Bdlch. 

- M«:iDo:r5 of a Life ia rennsvlrar.ia : Kalm.L52; Bamabj, |!l M ; Watson's 
An'ii'?, L : CoL Reocris, r^ 1731 ; Hazani, Peim5vivaata Aivhires, 174*. 

• Cratcacbriand, riL, IS. 


Chapter XIV. 


The Datch from New York were the first to settle within the bor- 
ders of New Jersey, as early,- it is said, as in the first quarter 
of the seventeenth century ; but their settlements never grew 
or reached an importance siifi^cient to give them a place in history ; 
and it was not until after the capture of New Netherlands by the Eng- 
lish, and the grant by the Duke of York to Lord Berkeley and 
Sir George Carteret, that the province then named New Jersey 
begins to play a part in American history. Gradually the conquer- 
ing race swept in — Protestants from New York, Quakers from the 
mother country, Puritans from New England — and a new state was 
added to the British dominions. ' 

Berkeley and Carteret first established a form of government by 
an instrument known as the " Concessions." This scheme was a lib- 
eral one, assuring religious toleration, and a government composed of 
Governor and Council appointed by the proprietaries, and a general 
Assembly chosen by the people. The concessions were speedily fol- 
lowed by the appointment of Philip Carteret as Governor, 
who went out at once with a body of emigrants. There was 
some opposition from Nicolls, Governor of New York, which proved 
the source of much future, trouble ; but the Duke had gone too far 
to retreat, and Nicolls was obliged to reluctantly admit the new- 
comers, who at once proceeded to allot the land at Elizabeth, and 
found their towns and colony. There was some diflBculty, also, with 
the old settlers, but their claims were compromised, everything went 
smoothly, and immigrants began to come in companies from New 
England. Towns rapidly sprang up, and it was soon found necessary 
to call the representatives of the people together. The first 
Assembly was brief and harmonious, and in the criminal law 
we see the unmistakable work of Puritans, who at once began to 


impress themselves upon the colony. At the very next session came 
the inevitable qnarrel between Assembly and executive; in this in- 
stance because the Council insisted on sitting as a separate House, 
instead of with the Assembly, where they could be outvoted. The 
contest had no result, and the Assembly adjourned, not to meet again 
for seven years. 
The controversy, however, took another shape, and passed to the 
towns — independent corporations, and full of the New England 
spirit, whose inhabitants objected to paying quit-rents. This 
was sustained by the old settlers, who had paid for their lands, and 
had grants from Nicolls ; and, finally, the disaffected towns held an 
Assembly, and chose a new Governor, James Carteret, an ille- 
gitimate son of the lord proprietary. The last vestige of 
power having gone, Philip Cartereti leaving John Berry as his dep- 
uty, betook himself to England, where the proprietaries, backed by 
the Duke of York, sustained their officers, and sent out letters ex- 
tending the executive power, declaring the old grants void, and defer- 
ring for a short time the payment of quit-rents. This was ef- 
fective, and James Carteret sailed for Virginia ; but the trouble 
proved sufficient to frighten Lord Berkeley, and make him part with 
all his right and title in the province. Meantime, the efforts of the 
proprietaries to settle the difficulties of their province were cut short 
by the Dutch reconquest of New York. The inhabitants of New Jer- 
sey submitted quietly to the Dutch, in the autumn of 1673, on receiv- 
ing sufficient promises of protection and liberty, and went back as qui- 
etly under the English rule the following year, when peace was made. 
This passing change of mastere had the effect of leaving in doubt the 
validity of the old grant to the Duke of York, and this grant was, 
therefore, made again, and the Duke commissioned Andros as Gov- 
ernor of the whole territory. Charles, however, recognized Carteret's 
government, and the Duke was obliged, in turn, to renew his former 
conveyance, which was now made separately to Carteret, and included 
East New Jersey, nothing being said about the portion alienated by 
Berkeley. Philip Carteret again came out as Governor, and 
was well received, and everything went quietly in the Assem- 
bly wbicli he called in the following year. 

Lord Berkeley, in the mean time, had sold his share to John Fen- 
wick, in trust for Edward Byliinge, both Quakers. A controversy 
arose, and one-tenth was awarded by Pcnn, as arbitrator, to Fenwick, 
and nine-tenths to Byliinge. Soon after Byliinge failed m Dusmess, and 


his nine-tenths were assigned to trustees, with Penn at their head, for 
the benefit of his creditors; while Fen wick also mortgaged his share, 
and, having sold some lands, came out with a number of emigrants, 
and settled at Salem, near the Delaware. This had hardly been done 
when Andros, despite tbe Duke^s original grant, and his own recogni- 
tion of the concessions, sent down officers, stopped the trade 
of the Quakers, and finally arrested Fenwick and sent him to 
New York, where he was soon released ; bat afterward returned, and 
was again released on parole. In the mean time the trustees of Byl- 
linge and the mortgagees of Fenwick had combined, and effected an 
agreement with Carteret, by which the province was divided into East 
and West New Jersey, The Quakers then framed a government of 
extreme liberality, providing for toleration in religion, for a represent- 
ative Assembly, and for an executive composed of commissioners to 
be chosen by the freeholders. Commissioners were at once 
appointed, and sailed with a lai^e number of settlers. They 
were detained at New York by Andros, who denied their authority, 
and who only allowed them to proceed on taking a warrant from him. 
This done, they entered upon their work, allotted lands, and founded 
towns ; but in the midst of their labors Fenwick appeared, released 
from New York, and set np a government of his own at Salem. The 
commissioners forbore to meddle with Fenwick, but Andros was not 
so gentle; and, on the former's refusal to pay customs to the 
Duke's officers, arrested him again, and took him once more 
to New York. Andros then went fuilher, and undertook to enforce 
the customs upon the other settlements, which were growing rapidly ; 
but this produced complaints, and the proprietors had the whole ques- 
tion referred to Sir William Jones as arbitrator. After elaborate argu- 
ments. Sir William Jones decided that the Duke had no right to cus- 
1 AAA ^^^ ^ ^^^ ^ ^^^ grant was then made by the Dake to the 
proprietors, which, however, complicated matters still farther, 
by reserving the powers of government to Edward Byllinge. 

Meanwhile the same policy had been attempted by the Duke's offi- 
cers against East New Jersey, where everything was moving peaceably, 
and where Carteret, anxious to encourage commerce, had opened Eliz- 
abeth as a free port, which was strenuously resisted by Andros, who 
demanded duties. Carteret refused, and Andros, with this quarrel 
rapidly ripening, went to England, where he received instructions to 
exact the duties for three years more. On his return he paid a 
visit to Carteret, who, backed by the Assembly, declined to submit; 


and soon after an armed force ivas sent oat bj Andros, and Carteret 
was surprised, aixested, and taken to New York. Tbere Carteret 
was tried, and, although acquitted bj the jury, was still detained as a 
prisoner, while Andros tried to seize the New Jersey government, and 
was baffled by the firm resistance of the Assembly. Instructions came 
from the widow of Sir Greorge Carteret, who died at this juncture, to 
refuse submission to the Governor of New York ; and the Duke soon 
after executed a release to the heirs of Carteret, and recalled Andros. 
The deputy, Brockholst, made one more attempt to carry out the high- 
handed policy of his superior and predecessor, but was success- 
fully opposed by Carteret, who had been reinstated, and the 
protracted contest came to an end. 

Not long after the Carteret heirs sold out their property to Wil- 
liam Penn and others, who obtained still another release from 
the slippery Duke, and formed an association of twenty-four 
proprietors for the government of East New Jersey. Robert Barclay, 
one of the principal leaders of the Quakers, was appointed Governor, 
and Thomas Rudyard was sent out as his deputy. Much practical 
legislation was enacted by the new Governor and the Assembly; 
counties were laid out, courts erected, and the penal code revised. 
Soon after, the government was reorganized, Barclay made Govern- 
or for life, and Gawen Lawrie, one of the founders of West New Jei^ 
sey, appointed deputy. Lawrie came out the year after his appoint- 
ment with some new concessions, which provided for the choice 
of the Governor by the proprietors, for a representative Assem- 
bly, religious toleration, and other less important matters, and which 
aroused considerable opposition in the province owing to the favor- 
itism shown the Quakers, who were but a small minority of the in- 
habitants. Lawrie also became involved in a contest with Governor 
Dongan, who renewed the efforts of Andros, and attempted, with the 
aid of the royal collector, to force all ships to enter at New York; 
and when the proprietors remonstrated, Dongan^s defence made it 
evident that he aimed at the annexation of the province. This 
amiable policy reached success by the accession of James, who, 
once on the throne, threw aside the underhand frauds by which 
he had tried to control the Jerseys, and by the issue of a writ of 
quo toarranto forced the proprietors of East New Jersey to surren- 
der their province, on condition that they should retain the 
ownership of the soil. The fate of West New Jersey was sim- 
ilar. This province had increased rapidly in population and prosper 


ity, while its proprietors wrangled and qnarrelled, and wound them- 
selves np in every form of legal and business complication. When, 
however, they saw the quo warranto suspended over East New Jersey, 
they followed the example of their sister province and surrendered to 
the King, on the same condition of retaining the ownership of the 

Andros, now Governor-general of New England and New York, took 
charge of the government and administered it in irresponsi- 
ble fashion, but mainly through the old officers ; and when the 
Bevohition came, there was too little harmony or sympathy between 
people and proprietaries, and too little affection for the old governments 
to lead to any active measures. Govemoi-s were appointed, and resist- 
ed by the people ; and, finally, Andrew Hamilton, who had been dep- 
uty at the time of the sun*ender, came out as Governor, and 
succeeded in carrying on an administration. He was also 
made Governor of West New Jersey, which had passed through vari- 
ous hands into the possession of a society. Thus the two divisions of 
New Jersey came together gradually, and the arrangement was 
continued under Hamilton's successor, Jeremiah Basse. Under 
the new Governor the old trouble with New York once more broke 
out, and the question of customs again came before eminent lawyers, 
and was again decided in favor of the proprietoi*s. At last the seiz- 
iire of a vessel brought the matter to the courts, and East Jersey won 
again. In the mean time Basse had lost the confidence of both peo- 
ple and proprietors, and was recalled. The proprietaries wished 
to reappoint Hamilton, and he came out as Governor of West 
Jersey, but for East Jersey the royal approbation could not be ob- 
tained. The people of East Jersey petitioned the Crown against the 
proprietors, whose title was also contested by the King, and the Coun- 
cil of proprietors, now become an unwieldy body, was itself divided. 
Some of them urged an immediate surrender, others sought to make 
terms, and, after much bickering and bargaining, the surrender was 
finally made. West Jersey followed in the same course, although 
there wa^ less faction among the people, and joined in the surrender 
to Queen Anne, soon after the death of King William. The 
rights of the proprietors in the land were sufficiently protected, 
and a form of government satisfactory to all was promised. 

This new constitution was embodied in the instructions of Lord 
Combury, who was appointed Governor of both New York and the 
Jerseys, now consolidated into one province. The form of govern- 

268 HiSTonr OF Tax 

ment thus established provided for a GoTemor and Council appointed 
by the Crown, and was on the common model of the royal provincial 
governments of the eighteenth century. It put an end to the wretched 
jarring and confused political arrangements from which New Jersey 
had suffered for nearly half a centnry at the hands of the proprietors, 
and introduced permanence and order. The proprietors, secure in 
their rights of property, were simply deprived of government which 
they could not carry on, while the people lost much of the entire lib- 
erty which they had practically enjoyed nnder the feeble mlo of the 
proprietors. There were the seeds for many future controversies in 
such a condition of affairs, and before long they produced a plenUful 

Lord Combury was well received on his arrival, and addressed the 
Assembly in gracious terms, so that formal business was rapidly 
transacted; but when the settlement of proprietary rights and the 
raising supplies were reached, there was a pause, and the Assent- 

_^ bly was dissolved. At the next session matters were eren 


worse. The Assembly, after much hesitation, granted a sum 
of money which the Governor thought lamentably insufficient, and 
would do nothing for a military force. The result was a dissolution, 
and a struggle at the elections, in which the government was beaten. 
Combury, who was one of the most worthless of the many bad co- 
ionial governors, then unseated three members, and, having packed 
the House, got through the supply and militia bills which he desired, 
and made himself master of the province. For two years he retained 
this ill-gotten power, troubled only by contests with some of the pro- 
prietors about lands ; but the spirit of discontent spread rapidly, and 
at the next Assembly he found himself facing a dctennined 
opposition, ably led by Samuel Jcnings and Lewis Morris. 
The Assembly drew up a memorial to the Queen and a remonstrance 
to the Governor, setting forth their grievances in the failure of jus- 
tice, the establishment of fees, the prohibition of land grants by the 
proprietors, and finally the invasion of their liberties by the removal 
of the three members. Then ensued the usual conflict — replies from 
the Governor, refusal of supplies, repeated dissolutions, and at 
last the removal of Combury, against whom complaints went 
up from every part of the region unfortunate enough to be governed 
by him. 

His successor, Lovelace, was welcomed in the province, but did 
not live long enough to deal with the restrictions which the As- 


scmblj put on the money bill ; and hia death left the government 
in the hands of Ingoldsby, the Lientenant-goverDor, and a tool of 
Oornbury, against whom the Assembly had already addressed 
the Queen. The Assembly, however, cheerfully voted three 
thousand pounds in aid of the war against Canada, enlisted men, and 
entered upon the favorite colonial system of paper-money by issuing 
bills of credit for this purpose. They then turned their attention 
to domestic affairs, and had little to do with Ingoldsby, who succeed- 
ed in forming a party in the Council hostile to the representatives 
of the people; but his universal unpopularity and the complaints 
Against his government soon led to his removal, and he 
was succeeded by (General Hunter, who made a favorable im- 
pression, and gave promise of a good administration. The quarrel 
went on between the Assembly and the Ingoldsby party in the Coun- 
cil in regard to the attacks of the latter, the disabilities of Quakers 
refusing to take an oath, and the qualification of jurors. The pop- 
ular grievances were laid before Hunter, who, after an impartial 
consideration, removed the obnoxious members of the Council from 
ofiSce, which so restored the confidence of the Assembly that at 
their next session they authorized the raising of volunteers, and 
gave cheerfully five tliousand pounds for the war in bills of credit 
The next Assembly, which did not meet until two years later, con- 
tinued to act in harmony with the Governor, voted supplies, 
removed the disabilities of the Quakers, settled the qualifica- 
tions of jurors, and regulated slavery. An interval of three years 
elapsed before another Assembly was summoned, and then came 
the first contest with Hunter, who had been instructed to remove 
the capital from Burlington to Amboy. This produced a factious 
opposition, but Hunter's instructions were so plain that submission 
was alone possible. The hostile faction undertook to break up the 
Assembly, but the majority stood by the Governor, and the members 
who absented themselves were expelled, and not allowed to sit again in 
the House. After this conclusion the attention of the Assembly was 
turned to the finances of the province, which were much involved. 
They tried to meet their deficiencies by more bills of credit, and did 
their best to furnish proper salaries and supplies to the govern- 
ment ; but the close of Hunter's administration left them still 
in trouble, and when his successor, William Burnet, who arrived in 
the following year, met the Assembly, matters had not much improved, 
and the province was still encumbered with debt. Burnet entered at 


once upon the domineering, meddling policy which he adhered to 
with such pertinacity daring his whole career in America, and in all 
his governments. He not only demanded the settlement of a lasting 
revenue and an increase of salary from the impoverished province, 
but he rebuked the Assembly for the length of its sessions, question- 
ed the validity of laws regulating the qualifications of members, and 
interfered in every way with the rights and privileges of the represen- 
tatives. This awakened a stubborn resistance and refusal of supplies, 
and sudden dissolutions followed each other in the usual fashion for 
two years. Then the Governor abated somewhat his preten- 
sions, the Assembly voted salaries smaller than before, made 
appropriations for five years, passed laws against the Papists, and 
dealt with the debt by authorizing the emission of forty thousand 
pounds in bills of credit, which wore legal tender and bore interest, 
and by the establishment of a loan-ofiice. There were contests on 
the judiciary and other questions ; but the measures which were pass- 
ed enabled the government to go on smoothly enough until the year 
1727, when the people began to be restive on account of the protract- 
ed existence of the Assembly and the long intervals between the ses- 
sions. A new Assembly was therefore convened, but nothing was done, 
and soon after Burnet was transferred to Massachusetts. 

Burnet's successor, John Montgomerie, ruled quietly and ac- 
ceptably. A strong effort was made for a separation from 
New York, but the movement effected nothing. On the death of 
Montgomerie, Lewis Morris, as President of the Council,' was 
at the head of the government until the arrival of William 
Cosby, in the following year, with a commission as Governor of New 
York and New Jersey. The Assembly passed a bill providing for tri- 
ennial elections, and calling au Assembly at least once in three years 
at Amboy and Burlington alternately, which received the assent of 
the Governor, but was disallowed by the King, and, together with the 
similar fate of bills regulating legal matters, caused much discontent. 
Cosby was not over-popular, and the Assembly complained of his se- 
lections for the Council ; but, on the whole, his administration 
iTSsI ^'** peaceful; and at the time of his death, the petition for a 
separation from New York being finally granted, Lewis Morris 
was appointed Governor of New Jersey. 

This excellent and needed change, which brought a man identified 
with New Jersey to the head of affairs, produced some alterations in 
the form of government. The Council was made a separate branch 


of the legislature, and the Governor no longer presided at their meet* 
ings. After an exchange of courtesies and congratulations, the As- 
sembly got to work, and found that the former leader of the popu- 
lar party was no more manageable than his predecessors. The old 
quarrel over fixing ekctions and shortening lawsuits was renewed, and 
the supply bill and salaries, passed after much delay, were so highly 
unsatisfactory that the Governor dissolved the Assembly in disgust 
The next Assembly, despite a sharp lecture from the Governor, was no 
better ; the old subjects of contention were brought forward, 
and matters were still further complicated by the Spanish war. 
Morris refused to adjourn the House until they had given aid to the 
war, and this led to the passage of a bill which opened up the ques- 
tion of the disposal of the revenue, and to which the Assembly ad- 
hered, despite the opposition of the Governor. The controversy thus 
begun rapidly developed. Every possible subject of dispute was drawn 
in, including fees, salaries, and meetings of the Assembly ; and the 
House refused to pass supply bills until their other measures received 
the Governor's assent They also came to an open breach with the 
Council, accusing them of an improper union of offices ; there was a 
further contest about a militia bill, there was no money, government 
was at a standstill, and at this juncture Morris, from whose adminis- 
tration so much had been expected, died, and left the govern- 
ment in the hands of John Hamilton, the senior member of 
the Council. 

The death of Morris softened the bitterness of parties, and the As- 
sembly passed bills for raising men, and issued ten thousand pounds 
for the war, in accordance with the royal instructions sent to 
Hamilton. Shortly after Hamilton died, the government de- 
volved on John Reading, another councillor, and then passed to Jon- 
athan Belcher, who came out as Governor. The peace of Aix-la-Cha- 
pelle relieved the province from the burdens of war ; and Bel- 
cher, a shrewd, wary man of long political experience, put an 
end to the quarrels of his predecessors, humored the Assembly as far 
as possible, assented to several bills which Morris had stoutly resisted, 
and never opposed the popular wishes, except when his instructions 
left him no choice, and then the Assembly were obliged to yield. 
This insured a quiet, peaceful, and prosperous administration, of which 
the province stood much in need. The only break was caused by riots 
arising from the knotty questions of land titles, and directed against 
the courts and the old proprietors. The Assembly, sympathizing with 


the rioters, prevented the employment of force, and the insurrection 
finally sabsided. 

The French war affected New Jersey but little, owing to ber pro- 
tected situation — shut in by the great colonies of New York and 
Pennsylvania. While professing their readiness to resist French en- 
croachment, New Jersey, having no interest in the Indians or the In- 
dian trade, declined to meet the commissionem of the other colonies 
at Albany in 1754, and promptly refused to ratify Franklin's constita- 
tion, which was proposed by that meeting to all the American prov- 
inces. During the war New Jersey did little. The Assembly generally 
complied with the requisitions made upon them, but they would refuse 
or modify at their own discretion, with the exercise of which neither 
Belcher nor his successors seem to have interfered. Belcher's 
judicious rule was closed by his death, and the government de- 
volved again upon Reading. Then followed several Governors for very 
short terms : Francis Bernard, who was active in Indian affairs ; Thom- 
as Boone, soon transferred to South Carolina ; Josiah Hardy ; 
and, finally, William Franklin, who was appointed through the 
influence of Lord Bute, and held office until driven ont by revolution. 
The concord and good feeling produced by the great victories of 
the French war, and by its successful close, were soon disturbed by the 
new policy of taxation. New Jersey had been as ready as any colony, 
during the war, to oppose anything like taxation by England, so that 
the Stamp Act aroused general discontent ; and, when it came to the 
point, the stamp-collector resigned, without an attempt to perform 
his duties. The circular of Massachusetts found the Assetably on 
the eve of adjournment; and, owing to this and to the efforts of 
Franklin, an evasive reply was returned. This produced general dis- 
satisfaction ; so marked, indeed, that the Speaker called a convention 
of the members, denounced violently by Franklin, and delegates were 
appointed, who met with those from the other provinces at 
New York, and thus placed New Jersey among the united col- 
onics, and bound up her interests with theirs. 


Chapter XV. 


Thb province of New Jersey, stretching along the Atlantic, with 
low, sandy shore, and a wide extent of low, flat country, rising gradu- 
ally toward the west and south, and intersected with nohle rivers, oc- 
cupied a position wholly difEerent from any other American colony. 
New Jersey alone never had a border on the wilderness. She was 
shut in by the great provinces of New York and Pennsylvania, and, 
from the time the settlements were fairly founded, never knew the 
dangers which haunted the frontier settlers of the other colonies, ex- 
cept in the case of Connecticut and Rhode Island, down even to the 
period of the Revolution. 

Except for internal dissensions, and the troubles with the govern- 
ment of New York, there was nothing from the outset to check the 
quiet and prosperous growth of the province. The population num- 
bered seventy-five thousand at the period of the French war, and about 
one hundred thousand at the time of the Revolution. The number of 
negroes was, as in Pennsylvania, comparatively small.' There was lit- 
tle diversity of race among the New Jersey people. The trifling Swed- 
ish and Dutch elements had been completely absorbed, and there were 
some German settlements; but with these exceptions the population 
was of pure English stock. West New Jersey was settled by Quakers 
chiefly, of whom a few had gone also to East New Jersey, which was 
occupied principally by New England men and by some Scotch Pres- 
byterians. These were good materials, and the colony benefited from 
the purity, vigor, and homogeneousness of her population.' 

" They are a very rustical people," said Governor Belcher, " and de- 
ficient in learning." A " rustical people " they certainly were, for near- 

^ Sussex Centenary, Edsairs Address ; Burnaby, p. 101 ; Board of Trade EstU 
mates, Bancroft, ir., 127, 129 ; Hildreth, iL, 419. 

* Httrray, Notes on Elizabeth ; Kalm, i., 228 ; ii., 128 ; Sussex Centenary, Edsall's 
Address ; Barber^s Hist Coll of New Jersey. 



]j the whole commnnitj was absorbed in farming. Wheat and pro- 
visions were the staples, and the chief articles of commerce, and there 
was also some ba^iron exported, a small traffic in far, tar, and tim- 
ber, and krge herds of cattle ; but the trade of New Jersey with Eng- 
land and Europe went oat through New York and Philadelphia, and 
only a small coasting and river traffic was kept up in the local porta.^ 
The towns were small, comely villages. Some, like Trenton, were built 
on the line of travel between New York and Philadelphia, which gave 
them support A long street, down which Washington rode one fa- 
mous December night to turn the wavering scale of Revolution, ran 
through the centre of the town, and was flanked by comfortable houses 
close to the highway, with large gardens stretching out behind them. 
Other villages were simply the centres of the farming district for 
which they furnished supplies ; while others, again, were merely a 
straggling collection of two or three farms, of which the pasture- 
land was held in common. So insignificant were the towns, that in 
eariy times legislation was necessary to compel them to have '' ordi- 
naries '* for passing strangers. Some of the houses in the New Jersey 
villages were. of wood, but brick was the most usual materiaL They 
were lightly but well built, with high stoops, where their occupants 
gathered in the summer twilight to gossip with their neighbors.* 
The great majority of the inhabitants were farmers, and lived in 
brick or wooden farm-houses, scattered over the whole province, and 
deriving a plentiful subsistence from their land. One writer, about 
the middle of the eighteenth century, who probably had but slight ac- 
quaintance with the back districts of Pennsylvania or with any of the 
southern States, says, " Farms in New Jersey, in thick woods, resem- 
ble the face of the sky after a tempest when the clouds arc breaking 
away." Yet New Jersey was the most thickly settled of any of the 
colonies, except, perhaps, the coast region of New England. The in- 
tervals of forest between the clearings were not long ; one farm often 
ran into another, and little hamlets were passed frequently by the trav- 
eller. The farms were given up to the plainest kinds of country prod- 

1 Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. SOI ; Smjth, ii., 896, 400 ; Burnaby, p. 101 ; 
Gabriel Thomas, Hist of West New Jersey; Learning and Spioer, Laws of New 
Jersey, 1676. 

* Huguenot Family in Virginia, pp. SCO, 801 ; Smith, il, 89*7 ; Abb^ Robin, p. 82 ; 
C. Blanchard's Journal, p. 184 ; Kalm, i., 220, 228 ; Bumaby, p. 96 ; Wansey, p. 195 ; 
Gabriel Thomas, History of West New Jersey ; Barber^s Hist Coll. of New jersey^ 
Early Legislation ; Rochefoucauld, i., 646. 


ucc. There Tvas little or no fencing, and no walls, except to protect 
the apple, peach, and cherry trees, the only fruits grown. The agri- 
culture was low, as in most of the other colonies, and few improve- 
ments were attempted.* The contemporary letter-writer, just quoted, 
says, " It is as well cultivated as any of the colonies, yet is much in dis- 
habille, or at least seems so to one that has not seen late settled places." 
There was no foreign trade, and the manufactures were trifling.' 

Society and social life, under such conditions, were both simple. 
There was a mild recognition of social distinctions, and an acknowl- 
edged aristocracy of gentlemen farmers without great political influ- 
ence. The underlying and strongest principles were those of democ- 
racy, brought in by the New England immigrants, and which found 
in New Jersey a favorable soil. All persons above slaves and indent- 
ed servants were, with the exception of the few small traders and 
shopkeepers in the towns, and of those who added a profession to 
agriculture, farmers of one sort or another, and the differences existing 
among them were only of degree, not of kind, while the various grades 
melted so imperceptibly into each other that it was not easy to mark 
the various stages in the descent from the large gentleman-farnaer to 
the small freeholder. One reason for this slackness in class distinctions 
and for the shadowy cast of the aristocratic system was the very small 
Bumber of slaves and the comparative scarcity of indented servants. 
The servile classes in New Jersey seem to have been socially as well as 
numerically insignificant. They were usually employed in domestic ser- 
vice. The laws in regard to them were severe, like the southern codes 
upon which they were modelled. The penalties for receiving or trading 
with runaways were heavy, and the slaves and servants were severely 
whipped for these offences. They were forbidden to carry arms, and 
were burnt at the stake for murder, all their fellow-servants being sum- 
moned to witness the horrid spectacle. The general treatment of the 
slaves was extremely mild, and the spirit of tho colony was, as a rule, 
80 far hostile to slavery that it was stoutly and successfully resisted by 
tho Quakers in the southern counties, and laws were passed by the As- 
sembly in 1762 and 1766 to check the importation by means of du- 
ties. But despite all this, and the small numbers of the negroes, there 
was a constant fear of insurrection ; and this uneasiness was justified 
by occasional risings which were either carried out or attempted, and 

> Smytb, ii., 89T ; C. Blanchard's Journal, p. 138 ; Ealm, i., 222 ; ii., 25, 195 ; Let- 
ter from H^ew Jersey, 1745-1756. • Burnaby, p. 101. 


which resulted in the execution of several negroes. At the time of 
the excitement caused bj the negro-plot in New York, in the year 
1741, the panic spread to New Jersey, and two or three wretched 
blacks were burnt at the stake/ The indented servants were not 
more numerous than the slaves, and their condition did not differ 
much from that of the same class in other colonies. They were, too, 
of a somewhat better sort, as the jail-birds went generally to the south- 
ern provinces, where they were strictly indented and harshly used.* 

These servile classes furnished, probably, as elsewhere, the pau- 
pers and criminals ; but there appear to have been few of cither in 
New Jersey. In the towns settled by New Englanders paupers were 
sold at auction, and farmed out on the simple Puritan plan ; but there 
was no other means taken of dealing with them, and their numbers 
were very trifling. In regard to the much more serious evil, it may 
be said that, practically, there was no crime in New Jersey. Houses 
were left unfastened at night ; thefts and robberies were uncommon ; 
pick-pockets wore unknown ; and the roads were uninfested and se- 
cure« The failing of the population seems to have been in illicit 
sexual connections, which were severely punished, after the New Eng- 
land fashion, by fines and whipping. Adultery was expiated by heavy 
fines and many lashes ; and the whole code, in its severity against 
drinking, swearing, challenges, and wearing swords, shows the New 
England origin of the laws. Punishments were simple and severe. 
A woman received twenty laches, in the year 1732, for larceny; and 
small offences were ordinarily dealt with by the whipping-post, stocks, 
and pillory. For capital crimes, of which there were thirteen in East, 
and none und^r the early and mild Quakers in West New Jersey, white 
men were hung, and negroes were sometimes sent to the gallows and 
sometimes to the stake. The methods of meeting the difllculties of 
pauperism and crime were utterly rude and unimproved, and in the 
fashion of the period. But, with a pure English people and plenty 
of good farming land, neither of these social evils was either press- 
ing or important.' 

1 Hist, of Salem, in West New Jersey ; Hatfield, Hist of Elizabeth ; Barber^s Hist 
Coll. ; Learning and Spicer, Laws of New Jersey, 1682, 1686, 1698 ; Rochefoucauld, 
i., 544. 

' Learning and Spicer, Laws, 1682, 1686 ; Letter from New Jersey, 1745-1766. 

* Hist of Salem, in West New Jersey; Leaming and Spioer, Laws, 1675, 1682, 
1686, 1698; Letter from New Jersey; Hist Coll., iii., Field, Prov. Courts; vi., 
Records of Newark. 


Above the servile classes came the various grades of farmers. The 
highest were gentlemen farmers, who lived on their own estates, and 
worked them with great profit. Some of their country seats were 
very handsome, bordering on the rivers, and running far back into the 
country, like the New York manors ; and the owners not infrequently 
displayed in their houses a good deal of elegance. We hear of Van* 
dycks and other fine Dutch paintings in these country houses, and 
there is even mention of a park, belonging to Peter Schuyler, with 
tropical plants and deer. But such estates were exceptional, and on 
most of them a primitive simplicity prevailed. The houses were of 
wood or brick, spacious and comfortable. Through the centre ran a 
wide hall, and here the wife and daughters sat at work, in the words 
of a contemporary, 'Mike Minerva and her nymphs, without head- 
dress, gown, shoes, or stockings." In ail classes a rude plenty reign- 
ed ; the table was abundant and plain ; cider, which had replaced thd 
beer of the Dutch, was the customary drink, and every farm pro- 
duced the necessaries of life, including clothing, soap, and tobacco. 
Even the poorest farmers lived well, and their numerous children 
found ready employment In the interior, and off the line of travel 
between New York and Philadelphia, the mode of life was ruder, and 
the dwellings often mere log -huts, with unstopped chinks afid no 
shutters, and so cold that, as Ealm, the Swedish traveller, relates, the 
ink would freeze in the pen and in the inkstand. 

There was a striking lack of amusements. The primitive Swed- 
ish customs had been driven out, and the Puritan theory of existence 
held sway. The early laws were sharp against all forms of indul- 
gence ; " stage-plays, games, masques, revels, bull-baitings, and cock- 
fighting, which excite the people to rudeness, cruelty, and irreligion, 
were to be discouraged and punished ;" and men were indicted for 
suffering cards to be played in their houses; while at a much later 
period church lotteries were rigorously suppressed. The laws died 
out, but their spirit survived, and the only relaxation of the New Jer- 
sey farmer was to meet with his neighbors at the club in the village 
tavern to drink, and perhaps witness a horse-race, or to hang about 
the court-house in the crowd which gathered there on the court day, 
or go to the fairs in the small towns, once disorderly, but now quiet 
by the prohibition of liquor-selling. They were a hard-headed, pros- 
perous, thrifty people, despite the absence of foreign trade and the cus- 
tomary depreciated currency. They were good-natured, friendly, and 
hospitable, with little superstition, and a strong respect for law, order. 


and vested rights. They rec(^ized also the social distmctioDs, after 
the New England fashion, and seats were held in charch according to 
office, age, estate, infirmity, desert, and parentage. They were sociable 
too, and, especially in the winter-time, made many visits to each oth- 
ers' houses. The only extravagance was in the way of funerals, when 
the . neighbors gathered at the house of mourning to follow the body 
to the graveyard attached to each farm, and always retained by the 
original family. Even this was reformed when the general movement 
against lavish display at funerals was made in 1764. Marriages were 
quiet, by banns with the poor, and by license among the more pros- 
perous. The daughter of tho average farmer was considered to be 
well dowered if she was given a cow and a side-saddle, although the 
connection between these articles is not at first apparent.^ The side- 
saddle, however, finds its explanation in the common mode of travel, 
which was on horseback. Local stages appeared as early as the year 
1732, were then extended to New York, and were finally replaced by 
the through lines from Philadelphia. The roads were good or bad, 
according to the nature of the soil, for the people were careless about 
mending them, and found it easier to go round a fallen tree than to 
remove it The fact that New Jersey became a sort of highway made 
inns a necessity, and they seem to have been generally very good 
and comfortable, while the constant passage of travellers did much 
to remove the isolation and break the solitary existence so common 
in the American colonies.' 

Thus far only the agricultural and farming population, which con- 
stituted the larger portion of the New Jersey people, has been men- 
tioned, but the professions, although small, were respectable, and their 
members active and influential. The churches were of every Protes- 
tant denomination, and from the time of the " Concessions " liberal- 
ity in religion, except during Lord Cornbury's rule, was the consis- 
tent policy of the State. The Church of England had a nominal but 
no real establishment It started in Lord Cornbury's time with laws 

» Kalm, ii., 26, 4«, 123 ; Burnaby, pp. 96, 98, 99, 103 ; Gabriel Thomas, West New 
Jersey ; Murmy, Notes on Elizabeth ; Hist, of Salem, in West New Jersey; Sussex 
Centenary, EdsalVs Address; Mickle's Old Gloucester ; Hatfield, Hist, of Elizabeth, 
Description of a Funeral; Barber's Hist Coll. of New Jersey, Early Legislation; 
Leammg and Spicer, Laws, 1682 ; Letter from New Jersey, 1745-1766 ; Hist Soc 
Proc, pp. 3, 4, Journal of Spicer ; vi., Rec. of Newark ; Rochefoucauld, i. 648. 

* Journal of Claude Blanchard, p. 134 ; Kalm, ii., 24, 25 ; Micklc's Old Glouces- 
ter; Barber's Hist CoU.; Letter from New Jersey, 1746-1766. 


compelling the reading of the Book of Common Prayer, and a report 
to the Bishop of London of all dissenting ministers — a repressive 
policy from the effects of which it never recovered ; nor did it ever 
gain a hold among the people. By the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, according to the reports famished the Society for the Propaga- 
tion of the Gospel, the Chnrch \va8 in a bad, unsettled way ; the. peo- 
ple were going over to the dissenters; the country abounded with 
Anabaptists and Quakers ; children were not baptized ; godfathers and 
godmothers were held in contempt ; and the chnrch buildings were 
out of repair. There were, in fact, few regular clergymen, although 
the Gospel Society maintained six missionaries, who did good work. 
The Governor was the head of the Church, the representative of 
the Bishop of London, and entitled to hold a prerogative court ; but 
his office and his duties in this respect must have been almost wholly 
nominal. There wei*e, of course. Episcopalians in New Jersey ; but 
they formed only a fraction of the population, and had little aseal. 
The most marked effect of the Established Church here, as in most 
of the other colonies, was the dislike it aroused against England, which 
was heightened by the conduct of the clergy, who were, as a rule, 
Tories, sided with the mother country, and saw their churches closed 
in consequence during the Revolution. The Quakers were numerous 
and influential in the early days ; but the energetic and powerful sects 
were the Scotch Presbyterians and the New England Congregational- 
ists, led by active and earnest ministers of good character and no little 
learning, bol!h as divines and physicians. Their influence is seen in the 
earliest legislation and in the strict Sunday laws, which forbade, under 
pain of stocks, imprisonment, and lashes, any work, travelling, or rec- 
reation on the Lord^s day. These acts were somewhat modified in 
Lord Cornbury's time, but they remained substantially in force down 
to the period of the Revolution. The ministers were not well paid, 
their fees were small, and even the revenues which they derived from 
retailing licenses, through the New England custom of civil marriage, 
were cut down by the justices of the peace, who were "great marriage- 
mongers, and tied the knot very rapidly." Yet, despite these draw- 
backs, the dissenting clergy remained an excellent and active body.' 

> Andei^on's Col. Church, ii., 441 ; Ealm, i., 228 ; ii., 25 ; Hurray, Notes on Eliz- 
abeth ; Hist, of Salem, in West New Jersey ; Henderson, The Days of Old ; Bar- 
ber's Hist. Coll. ; Learning and Spicer, Laws, 1698 ; Letter from New Jersey, 1745 
-1756 ; Rev. Thomas Thompson's Journey ; Hist. Soc. Coll., vii., Ehner's Constitu- 
tional Qovemment of New Jersey ; Bumaby, pp. 102, 108. 


To these two eects of Preabyterians and Congregatioiialists New 
Jersey owed the great debt of such edacation as she possessed. , As 
it was, schools were few at the time of the Revolution, and school- 
masters poorly paid ; but such as there were, were due to no public 
system, but to the New England pi*actice of throwing the burden of 
education upon the towns, and requiring the election of three men to 
lay and levy taxes for the support of a school-master. Thus, in the 
towns of New England origin, schools were maintained ; and at a later 
period a good grammar school was opened by private enterprise in 
Elizabeth, and was well attended. There seems, too, to have been a 
general readiness among the people to avail themselves of any oppor- 
tunities of instruction that came in their way.^ The greatest service, 
however, to the cause of education was that rendered by the Pres- 
byterians, who first brought forward in their synod a plan for a 
college, which they afterward founded in the year 1746, and removed 
to Princeton, where Nassau Hall was built ten years later. Here, at 
the close of the old French war, in school and college were eighty 
students, taught by a provost and two professors. The provost re- 
ceived two hundred pounds a year, and the professors fifty each; 
while the annual expenses of each student amounted to about twenty- 
five pounds. The instruction was of good quality so far as it went; 
there were the germs of a library and some philosophical instruments, 
and the college was promising and wisely administered.' 

In the field of general literature New Jersey had little to show. 
The first press was established by James Parker in the year 1751, 
at Woodbridge, where, in 1758, a magazine was issued, which had a 
brief existence of two years ; but the first newspaper, the New Jersey 
Gazette^ did not appear until the Revolution had fairly begun. No 
books by native authors were published; but some of the leading 
men, like Governor Morris, wrote well, and had ^wq imported libra- 
ries, which indicated classical and general learning, while others con- 
tributed fair verses, and essays, political and otherwise, to the ga- 
zettes of the neighboring capitals. The geographical position of the 
province gave the inhabitants opportunities for knowledge of the out- 
side world, and for news from the journals of New York and Phila- 
delphia. The fii"st mails — once a week in summer, and once a fort- 

' Sussex Centenary, EdsalFs Address ; Hatfield, Hist of Elizabeth ; Learning and 
Spicer, Laws, 1682-1693 ; Hist. Coll., iii., Prov. Courts, Field ; Boohefoucaold, u., 

* Abb6 Robin, p. 82 ; Claude Blanebard, p. 184 ; Murray, Notes on Elizabeth. 


night in winter— were carried on horaeback in tbe year 1729 ; and in 
1754 Franklin provided the colony with three mails a week. Thus 
New Jersey, although herself behindhand in literary development and 
in outside connections, had the benefit of everything done in this di- 
rection by her great neighbors on the north and west/ 

The two other professions of civil life did not fall behind the clergy 
in character and competency. Indeed, in medicine, when it is remem- 
bered that there was nothing but country practice, the standing of New 
Jersey is remarkably good. Here, as in Pennsylvania, the Quakers 
brought physicians with them, who eked out a slender income by 
trade and farming. Few of their successors had a European train- 
ing. Most of them acquired their education by an apprenticeship, 
involving care of the shop and many menial services, with sbnie older 
practitioner, whose daughter the student, after the apprentice fashion, 
would not infrequently marry, and then succeed to his father-in-law's 
business. There were, of course, many quacks ; and no improvements 
were efEected until they were forced upon the profession by the de- 
mand for surgeons in the French war. In the year 1766 a medical 
society was founded, most intricate tables of small fees for every con- 
ceivable case were adopted, and physicians had to pass an examination 
at the hands of established practitioners and before the court ; receiv- 
ing, if successful, a testimonial signed by the judge. This led to a 
great advance in the character of the profession, which rose into im- 
portance only in the years preceding the Revolution. The practice 
was rough and. unscientific, but in the fashion of the day, and the life 
was a hard one. The doctor had to ride long distances, sometimes 
across country, with his saddle-bags stuffed with drugs, and usually 
consumed a fortnight in a round of visits. Midwifery continued in 
the hands of women ; but the physicians, as a class, were a respectable 
and efiScient body.' 

The lawyers also appear to have been men of ability and character. 
They formed "at first no regular class, and attorneys were not in good 
repute. The Quakers in West New Jersey forbade any pleading for 
money ; but in the year 1694 an act was passed regulating attorneys; 
soon after they were required to have a license from the Governor, 
and as early as the year 1733 seven years' study was required to prac- 

' Barber, Hist. Coll. of New Jersey ; Hist. Soc. Coll., iv., Morris Papers ; Tyler's 
Amer. Literatare. 
* Wickes, History of Medicine in New Jersey. 


tis^ as an attorney, which indicates a desire to maintain a proper effi- 
ciency ; yet, notwithstanding these efforts, the profession and the courts 
at a later time seem to have excited the popular resentment in a man- 
ner which recalls the Regulators of North Carolina. Where the fault 
lay is not easy to determine ; but the lawyers were, as a rule, respect- 
able. Most of them espoused the popular side in the troubles with 
England, the leaders of the bar, who were Tories, and later refugees, 
forming the most marked exceptions.* 

The early system of courts was simple in the extreme. Monthly or 
town courts, and county courts with elected judges, were established 
where the New England influence prevaile<l, and in the Quaker region 
this example was followed. The Scotch immigrants added a court of 
common right, with both law and equity jurisdiction. Then came a 
court of appeals, consisting of a member of the council and justices 
of the peace, and a court of oyer and terminer, with justices and one 
appointed judge. This loose system was simply regulated by the royal 
government, which took to itself all judicial appointments. All cases 
of debt and trespass, under forty shillings, were to be tried by justices 
of the peace, with an appeal to the court of sessions or the court of 
common pleas, which replaced the county courts. From them there 
was an appeal, in all cases involving more than ten pounds, to the su- 
preme court of the province, composed of appointed judges, and com- 
bining the jurisdiction of the English Common Picas, King's Bench, 
and Exchequer; and from this supreme court an appeal in error could 
be taken to the Governor and Council, and over two hundred pounds, to 
the King in Council. The court of chancery, as first established, con- 
sisted of the Governor and three councillors ; but Hunter, in the year 
1718, made good his claim to act alone as chancellor, and this system, 
together with the fees fixed by Burnet, which led to much abuse and 
extortion, remained in force until the year 1770, when the court was 
enlarged and improved by William Franklin. Neither this coui-t, how- 
ever, nor that of vice-admiralty, also pertaining to the Governor, had 
great importance, and some of the governors did not care to take the 
trouble to act as chancellors. The common law, of course, prevailed, 
and there was always a great deal of litigation, often of a very frivo- 
lous and petty character. The simplicity of the early days, when Thom- 
as Olive, the Quaker Governor, sat on a stump in his meadow and dis- 
pensed justice, disappeared when the province came to the Crown. In 

1 Hist. Soc. Coll., ill., Field, Provincial Courts. 


provincial times the judges wore red gowns, with black veket trimming, 
and bag wigs, and in summer black silk gowns, which were also worn 
by the members of the bar. This excellent practice of an appropriate 
dress went out with the Revolution, and all subsequent efforts to re- 
vive it failed. The general administration of justice was good and ef- 
fective, and the judges of the supreme court, though too apt to be un- 
der the influence of the Governor, were, as a rule, trained and capable 

The government of New Jersey, at first proprietary, was transferred 
to the Crown as early as the year 1702. It consisted of a Governor 
appointed by the Crown ; a Council of twelve members, in theory ap- 
pointed by the Crown, in reality by the Governor, who took six from 
East and six from West New Jersey ; and an Assembly elected by the 
freeholders. The Governor could veto, prorogue, dissolve, and convene ; 
the Council formed the Upper House, and each House had a veto. The 
Governor and Council made all appointments by writ of privy seal 
and in the name of the Crown, and issued patents for land, from which 
the fees were considerable. The system, as a whole, differed in no es- 
sential respect from the ordinary royal governments in America. There 
was the usual jealousy of the Governor common to all the colonies, 
which found vent on nil occasions, and never hesitated to gratify it- 
self even at the expense of the public welfare. The absence of trade 
narrowed the grievances against the mother country to the protection 
extended to naval deserters, for desertion was followed by the press- 
gang, and the press by fights, lawsuits, and ill-feeling. The general 
tone of the people, however, was very loyal, as is illustrated by a 
curious passage in an old record, where it appears that one '* Richard 
Duddy was prosecuted for damning his Grace the Duke of Cumber- 
land." There was, indeed, no good ground for anything but loyalty. 
Taxes, chiefly levied on land, were light, and although the militia in- 
cluded in theory every man between sixteen and sixty, the law was not 
very rigidly enforced, and New Jersey was saved by her protected sit- 
uation from the scourge of French and Indian war.* 

1 A detailed account of Bench and Bar in New Jersey may be found in Hist. 
Soc., iii., Field, Provincial Courts ; see also Bi^rnaby, p. 102 ; Gabriel Thomas ; 
Learning and Spicer, New Jersey Laws, 1675, 1682 ; Hist Soc. Coll., tII, Elmer's 
Const Government in New Jersey. 

* Bumaby, pp. 96, 101, 102 ; Hurray, Notes on Elizabeth ; Learning and Spicer, 
I^ws, 1675 ; Sussex Centenary, EdsalPs Address ; Hist Soc. Coll., iv., Morris Pa- 
pers ; vii., Elmer's Const Goremment in New Jersey. 


The people were, as a whole, a conservative, thrifty commnnity of 
English fanners. They were pure in race, and differed in this re- 
spect; from the other colonies of the middle group ; but they never^ 
theless strongly partook, socially and politically,' of the peculiar quali- 
ties which distinguish New York and Pennsylvania. 


Chapter XVI. 

NEW YORK FROM 1609 TO 1765. 

In New York was made the only Bettlement which seemed at any 
time seriously to threaten the dominion of the English race in 
America. An Englishman, the famous Henry Hndson, in the 
pay of Holland, first discovered and explored the noble river 
which bears his name, and one of the earliest permanent settlements 
of Europeans in the New World was the result. Adventure brought 
men to Virginia ; politics and religion to New England ; philanthropy 
to Georgia ; bat New York was founded by trade and for trade, and 
for nothing else. The settlement on the island of Manhattan was due 
to the active spirit of Dutch commerce. The shrewd merchants of Am- 
sterdam saw great profit in the cheap furs to be obtained of the In- 
dians, and their vessels began to come in numbers, and make repeated 
voyages to the Hudson soon after the discovery of the river. A post, 
consisting of a few small houses or huts, sprang up on Manhattan, and 
the hardy Dutch captains and seamen began to push out in all direc- 
tions, extending their trade and exploring the bays and rivers of all 
the adjacent coasts. Christiaenscn worked his way up the river, built 
a fort, and founded another post, near the present site of Al- 
bany. Adrian Block explored Long Island Sound and the 
coasts of New England, while May had been to the southward as far 
as the cape which bears his name. 

The profits of the fur-trade were so great that others began to turn 
their eyes to the new region ; and the original adventurers among the 
merchants hastily formed the New Netherland Company, and 
obtained a monopoly of the trade for three years. During that 
period everything went on prosperously. A post was established on 
the South or Delaware river, and the Dutch ships went so far, both 
to the north and south, that they threatened interference with the 
English of Plymouth and Virginia alike. But while trade was thus 
advanced in all directions nothing was done for colonization. The 


States -general, however, gained a knowledge of the valae of their 
new possessions, and when the charter of the New Netherland Com- 
pany expired, they rcfnsed charters to the small merchants, and 
frowned upon their trade. After an interval of uncertainty, the 
problem was solved by the establishment of the great West India 
Company, similar to the immense monopoly of the East ; and 
to the Amsterdam chamber of this new company the New 
Netherlands were intrusted. They formally took possession, proceed- 
ed to stop the small private traders, and, after a yearns delay, sent 
out a body of Walloons, who had been driven from their 
homes by Spanish persecution, to settle in the new territories 
of Holland. These first immigrants were planted near Albany, while 
others who followed settled on the South river, on Long Island, and 
some on Manhattan. The settlements prospered; the people were 
thrifty and industrious, and a lively traffic sprang up with the 
162g' I'^di^'^8 everywhere. During this time May first acted as Di- 
rector ; then William Verhulst ; and, lastly, Peter Minuit, who 
united all the settlements under one government, bought the island of 
Manhattan from the natives, extended the settlement there, and with- 
drew from Fort Orange all but a small garrison, on account of Indian 
troubles. The Company built warehouses, Fort Amsterdam was begun, 
and relations were opened with Plymouth of a friendly character, al- 
though even then Bradford questioned the right of the Dutch 
to their possessions. Mills were also erected, and trade rapidly 
increased ; but it was all trade, and colonization did not prosper nor 
agriculture develop. 

The Company met this difficulty by the creation of what was in- 
tended to be a powerful and noble class. A charter was agreed 
to, which gave any member of the Company founding a colony 
of fifty persons the right to an estate with a river frontage of sixteen 
miles, and of otherwise indefinite extent, while with these estates went 
every sort X)f feudal right, including manorial courts and the privi- 
lege of trading within the dominions of the Company. Leading di- 
rectors promptly took advantage of this great opportunity. Godyn 
and Blommacrt secured the region of the South river; Kiliaen Van 
Rensselaer that about Albany ; and Michael Pauw that of Hoboken. 
These purchases, which were of enormous extent, alarmed the Com- 
pany, who ordered the patroons to take partners — a command they 
easily evaded by taking each other in that capacity. Colonization 
speedily followed. Rensselaer established Rensselaerswyck, near Fort 


Orange ; and Godyn and Blommaert, with De Vries and others, the 
village of Swaanendael, on the Soath river. Not content with 
their landed possessions, the patroons proceeded to absorb 
all the trade of these vast regions ; but this was more than the Com- 
pany could bear. An angry order was passed forbidding all trade ex- 
cept that of the Company, and insuring a plentiful supply of quarrels ; 
while Minuit, who was thought to favor the patroons, was re- 
called. On his way home he was seized by the English, on ac- 
count of trading in their dominions, and was only released after a long 
correspondence. Difficulties seemed now to beset the Dutch. The In- 
dians tore down the arms of Holland on the South river, and this led 
to a war, a massacre of the settlers, and the destruction of Swaanen- 
dael ; so that when De Vries, the patroon, and the best of all the Dutch 
leaders, came out, he met with nothing but the ruins of his village ; and, 
after a visit to Virginia, made his way to the north. There he 
found, at Manhattan, a new Governor, Wouter Van Twiller, a 
wretched clerk from the Company's office, appointed by Van Rensse- 
laer's influence, and as miserably incompetent as a man could w^ll be 
for his post His first feat was to bluster at and threaten an English 
vessel, which sailed up the river despite his threats, and which was only 
brought back with difficulty by a force sent out for the purpose. His 
next exploit was to refuse permission to a vessel belonging to De 
Vries to sail down the Sound, and he actually brought the cannon of 
the fort to bear upon her ; but De Vries taunted him with the affair 
with the English, and the vessel proceeded unmolested on her voyage. 
These acts were fair examples of Van Twiller's miserable and ludicrous 

Nothing, however, could damp the spirit of trade. Corssen estab- 
lished a post on the Schuylkill ; and Van Curler, following up the 
traders in the east, built Fort Good Hope, on the Connecticut. Down 
came the Plymouth people and built another post, and the founda- 
tions of a fine contention were securely laid. The Virginians also 
pushed up the South river; but Van Twiller, in this instance, mus- 
tered enough energy to repel the intruders. The English difficulties 
were carried to Europe, too, in the case of the ship expelled from the 
Hudson, and a lively correspondence ensued between the home Gov- 
ernments, which, after the fashion of colonial squabbles, camo to noth- 
ing. Meanwhile the town on Manhattan grew slowly. New houses 
were built, and a substantial church, while the "staple right" brought 
a revenue to the town from every passing vessel. Still the colony 

288 HI8T0ET OF TEE . 

did not thrive. The patroon BjBtem kept settlers away, and the pa- 
ternal government of a trading corporation checked all vigorous and 
independent growth, while Van Twiller went steadily from bad to 
worse. He engaged in childish quarrels with every one, from the 
minister down, and finally sent homo Van Dincklagen, the schout, 
one of the few really competent men in the town. This utter mis- 
government led at last to Van Twiller^s removal. He retired in pos- 
session of large tracts of land, which he had succeeded in ac- 
quiring, and was replaced by William Eieft, a bankrupt mer- 
chant of bad reputation. Kieft practically abolished the Council, and 
got all power into his own hands ; but he had some sense of order. 
His first report showed that Van Twiller had allowed the property 
of the Company, both buildings and vessels, to go to ruin, and that 
the lawless crews of the trading -vessels smuggled goods, cheated, 
and ran riot in the town. Eieft made a series of laws which 
checked these abuses ; but, despite his improvements, the place re- 
mained a mere trading - post, and would not develop into a colo- 
ny. The patroons were the curse of the scheme, and too powerful 
to be overthrown ; so they proposed, as a remedy for the existing 
evils, that their powers and privileges should be greatly enlarged. 
The Company had bought back some of the lands ; but they were still 
helpless, and the State would do nothing for them. In this crisis 
they had a return of good sense, and solved the problem by de- 
stroying their stifling monopoly. They threw the trade to New 
Netherlands open to all comers, and promised the absolute owner- 
ship of land on the payment of a small quit-rent The gates were 
open at last, and the tide of emigration swept in. De Vries, who had 
bought land on Staten Island, came out with a company ; while ship 
followed ship filled with colonists, and English came from Virginia, 
and still more from New England. Men of property and standing 
began to turn their attention to the New Netherlands; fine well- 
stocked farms rapidly covered Manhattan, and healthy progress had 
at last begun. Thus strengthened, the Company restricted the 
patroons to a water-front of one mile and a depth of two, but 
left them their feudal privileges, benefits which practically accrued to 
Van Rensselaer, whose colony at Beverwyck had alone, among the 
manors, thriven and grown at the expense of the Company. 

The opening of trade proved in one respect a disaster. The cau- 
tious policy of the Company vas abandoned, and greedy traders who 
had already begun the business, and were now wholly unrestrained, has- 


tened to make their fortunes by selling arms to the Indians in return 
for almost unlimited quantities of furs. Thus the Mohawks obtain- 
ed guns enough to threaten both the Dutch and all the surrounding 
tribes, and this perilous condition was made infinitely worse by the 
mad policy of Eieft He first tried' to exact tribute from the Indians 
near Manhattan, then offered a price for the head of any of the Rar- 
itans who had destroyed the settlement of De Yries ; and, when a 
young man was murdered by a Weckquaesgeek, the Governor plan- 
nod immediate war. In all this he had no sympathy from the peo- 
ple, who realizing their weakness, had no wish to fight, and the pop- 
ular feeling rose so high, even among the phlegmatic Dutch- 
men, that Kieft was obliged to call a public meeting, at which 
twelve select-men were chosen to advise the Governor. The "twelve" 
counselled peace, a demand for compensation for the murder, and that 
the Governor should put himself at the head of the troops. Kieft thank- 
ed them for their advice, and issued a proclamation forbidding popular 
meetings ; but the people of New Amsterdam could not undo the work 
of the traders. The Mohawks, armed by the Dutch, swept down from 
the north, driving the river tribes before them. The fugitives sought 
refuge in the Dutch settlements, and were well received, especially by De 
Vries, who sought to give them every protection ; but the helpless con- 
dition of his former enemies only aroused Kieft to fury. Two 
or three of the " twelve," who had been dissolved, met and pre- 
sented a petition to the Governor that the Indians should be attacked. 
Acting on this illegal and fraudulent petition, Kieft, despite the remon- 
strances of De Yries, ordered out the troops, and sent them across 
the river to Pavonia and Corker's Hook, where most of the runaway 
Indians were assembled. The wretched fugitives, surprised by their 
supposed protectors, were butchered, in the dead of a winter's night, 
without mercy, and the bloody soldiers returned in the morning to 
Manhattan, where they were warmly welcomed by Kieft. This mas- 
sacre lighted up at once the fiames of war among all the neighboring 
tribes of Algonquins. All the outlying farms were laid waste, and 
their owners murdered, while the smaller settlements were destroyed. 
Yriesendael alone was spared. A peace, patched up by De Yries, 
gave a respite until summer, and then the war raged more fiercely 
than before, the Indians burning and destroying in every direction, 
while trade was broken up, and the crews of the vessels slaughtered. 

Popular feeling now ran so high against Kieft that his life was 
in danger ; and although he tried to put down resistance with a high 



hand, he was overborne and compelled to call a meeting of the 
people. " Eight men " were chosen, who this time seized the govern- 
ment, oi^anized a force of English and Dutch, under the command of 
John Underhill, of Pequod fame, and, this done, addressed letters to 
the Company, setting forth their miserable condition and the need of 
relief to save the colony. The winter dragged heavily along, until an 
appeal from the English on Long Island led to an expedition 
which sacked two Indian villages, and killed a hundred warn- 
ors, and this was followed by another campaign directed by Underbill. 
The principal Indian town in Connecticut was taken, where seven hun- 
dred warriors were gathered ; the feeble defences were stormed ; the 
wigwams fired, and all the savages were put to the sword. This terri- 
ble slaughter crippled the Eastern tribes, and put an end to their rav- 
ages ; but the river tribes still continued hostile, and kept the colonists 
shut up in Manhattan. The "eight men " desircd further vigorous meas- 
ures, and the employment of a hundred and fifty soldiers who had ar- 
rived from Cura^oa ; but there was no money, the Company was bank- 
rupt, and Eieft made a bad matter worse by attempting to raise a rev- 
enue from a tax on beer. Thus the government blundered on without 
a single useful measure, until at last the ''eight men'' addressed an- 
other letter to the Company, demanding fiatly the recall of Kieft, and 
the right of choosing local officers, who should send deputies to con- 
fer with the Governor and Council. This definite request produced 
an immediate effect upon the bankrupt Company in Holland, who de- 
termined upon the recall of Kicft and the appointment of Stuyvesant; 
but a long delay ensued before the change was actually made, and in 
the interval the Indian tribes, weary at last of war, came in and 
made peace. Kieft continued his quarrels ; but his power was 
gone, and he was hated as the principal cause of all the misfortunes 
of the colony. 

The results of his miserable administration were certainly disastrous 
enough. Sixteen hundred Indians had perished in the war ; but all 
the outlying Dutch settlements and farms had been destroyed, and the 
prosperity of the colony had received a check from which it recovered 
very slowly. In Connecticut the English had left the Dutch merely 
a nominal hold, and had really destroyed their power in the East. On 
the South river the Swedes had settled, and, disregarding Kicft's blus- 
tering proclamations, had founded strong and growing colonies. The 
restless New Englanders had come to the same region ; but these ad- 
venturers, Kieft first, and then the Swedes, had successfully expelled. 


Bat tbc power of Holland sank before that of SwedcD, and the ener- 
getic Printz bullied and abused the Dutch commanders at Fort Nas- 
sau, and made himself master of the Delaware. The interests of Hol- 
land were at a low ebb when Peter Stuyvesant, of uncertain 
reputation, imperious, high-tempered, energetic, and persistent, 
landed at Manhattan amid the shouts of the delighted people, and took 
under his protection his beaten and hated predecessor, who was re- 
viled by his enemies, even at the moment of surrendering his office. 
The matter, however, did not stop here. Kuy ter and Melyn, two of the 
'* eight men,'' and citizens of good standing, demanded a rigid inves- 
tigation of Eieft's administration. Stuyvesant's arrogant and tyran- 
nical temper at once broke out. He refused to recognize Kuyter and 
Melyn officially, and with his subservient Council dismissed the com- 
plaint Eieft then turned on his assailants, accused them of getting 
up the appeal to Holland, and of disturbing the peace ; and Kuyter and 
Melyn were at once convicted, heavily fined, and banished, Stuyvesant 
grumbling because he could not have Melyn put to death. Kieft soon 
after sailed, master of an ample fortune, and taking his two foes with 
him as prisoners. The vessel was wrecked on the English coast, Kieft 
was drowned, and Kuyter and Melyn, who were saved, hastened to 
Amsterdam to demand relief and reparation. 

This violence and injustice were fit precursors of Stnyvosant's rule. 
Personally honest and very energetic, he gained the hatred of every 
one by the rough-and-ready manner in which he attempted to improve 
public a&irs, raise money by taxation, and regulate trade. The taxes 
were ill-judged, burdensome, and slowly paid ; while the Governor was 
accused of illicit trade in his efforts to stop smuggling. Prosperity 
diminished, the colony languished, there was no revenue, and Stuyve- 
sant was at last compelled to order the towns to elect representatives, 
from whom a board of nine men was to be chosen. This board had 
merely advisory powers, and some judicial duties; six were to go out 
annually, and their places were to be filled by appointment. This 
close corporation was the best substitute for popular representation 
obtainable, and the only defence of the popular rights which Stuyve- 
sant utterly disregarded. The director adopted the same treatment 
for foreign opponents that he did for the colonists. The agent of 
Lady Stirling was promptly ousted from Long Island, and Stuyvesant 
soon after seized a ship at New Haven for trading without license. 
At this the New Englanders broke out into fierce remonstrance, and 
sheltered runaway servants, while Stuyvesant retaliated by offering a 


refuge to all f agitives, criminal or otherwise, from New Haven ; and 
thus the foundation for a bitter quarrel was solidly laid. In the same 
spirit he attempted to control the property of the Van Rensselaers; 
but their agent kept him off, and he had only the pleasure of issuing 
blnstering proclamations. Matters went from bad to worse, and discon- 
tent grew beneath oppression, foreign quarrels, and increased taxation. 
The first board of nine became intractable, and a new one was 
appointed, which at once set about sending a delegation to Hol- 
land. I^uy vesant denied them the right of popular meeting, and threw 
the leader. Van der Donck, into prison ; while Melyn^s return, with a re- 
versal of his sentence, and a mandamus to Stny vesant to appear and de- 
fend himself, added fuel to the flames, and led to an actual brawl at a 
public meeting. The popular clamor at last reached such a pitch that 
Stuy vesant was forced to allow Van ^der Donck and two others to pro- 
ceed to Holland ; sending his secretary. Van Tienhoven, to defend him. 
The petitioners demanded burgher government ; that Holland should 
take the colony ; and the recall of Stuy vesant, who was ably defend- 
ed by his secretary. The States-general passed some good measures 
for the government of the colony, and ordered Stuy vesant to return ; 
but the Company did not accede, and Stuy vesant went on in the old 
way. He refused to fill vacancies in the *' nine men,'' thus dissolv- 
ing the board ; drove Mclyn out of the town, and compelled him to 
fortify himself in his manor on Staten Island ; and went about whip- 
ping and imprisoning all who dared to oppose him. 

In all his contests thus far Stuyvesant seems to have relied upon 
' his English subjects on Long Island, and he appointed two 
of them boundary commissioners, who speedily concluded a 
treaty with their kinsmen, by which the Dutch lost half Long Island 
and the whole of Connecticut and Rhode Island. This led to fresh 
complaints from the popular party ; and soon after, the States-general 
decreeing the establishment of burgher government, including 
courts and modifications of trade laws, the Company gave way, 
and Van der Donck returned with this decree as the fruit of his toil. 
Stuyvesant, in view of pending war with England, was not recalled, 
and he boldly evaded the decree of the States-general by appointing 
all the officers in the new government, including the obnoxious Van 
Tienhoven as schout. Even this meagre concession was eagerly ac- 
cepted by the people, and they cheerfully aided Stuyvesant in im- 
proving defences against the threatened war, which, fortunately for 
the Dutch, never came to anything. The English of Connecticut 


T^erc eager to figbt, but Massachusetts would not move. Rhode Isl- 
and, unfettered by the confederation, entered upon a ludicrous war 
upon her own account ; and under her standard Underbill, who had 
already been twice arrested for raising riots on Long Island, marched 
with twenty men, and formally took possession of the empty Dutch 
fort on the Connecticut; selling the land twice over for his own ben- 
efit, and finally effacing the last vestiges of Dutch ownership in New 
England. Rhode Island vessels preyed with rare impartiality, in a 
small way, upon the commerce of both Holland and England, but this 
was all. There were rumors of Indian wars started by Dutch influ- 
ence, and the towns of Connecticut became much excited ; but still 
Massachusetts held back. At last Cromwell took the, ^natter 
in hand, and sent out a fleet and soldiers; but there were 
more delays, and peace relieved the New Netherlands from danger. 

It was a welcome deliverance to the Dutch ; for after the first alarm 
of war discontent had again sprung up in New Amsterdam, and the offi- 
cers of the burgher government headed the opposition, which received 
a powerful addition from the English of Long Island — Stnyvesant^s 
quondam allies. A convention of delegates from the towns was call- 
ed, in which the English — far better political agitators than their kins- 
men of Holland — took the lead, and a sharp memorial was drawn up 
by Baxter against Stuyvesant, who denied their right to meet, and, 
after much discussion, the convention sent an agent to Holland. The 
news of peace, which freed the Dutch from the imminent peril of 
CromwelFs soldiers and bailors, was accompanied with letters from 
the Company strongly supporting the Director; and thus strengthened, 
Stuyvesant arrested Baxter and Hubbard, who were raising a new re- 
bellion on their own account in the Long Island towns, and threw them 
into prison. In appearance, at least, Stuyvesant was stronger than 
ever. During this troubled period Stuyvesant had found time to look 
into the affairs of the South river, where the Dutch power, confined 
to Fort Nassau, was at low ebb. The Dutch were helpless among the 
Swedes, and treated as mere trespassers. Stuy vesant^s first act 
was to abandon Fort Nassau, and build, below the Swedish 
posts. Fort Casimir, thus commanding navigation. Printz protested ; 
but both parties were afraid of the English and their claims, and 
nothing was done beyond the despatch of messengers to Sweden to 
complain of the invasion. Printz^s successor, Rysingh, coming out 
with a force of three hundred men two years later, immediately capt- 
ured Fort Casimir, and subjected the Dutch to Swedish rule, which 


caased a burst of indignation in New Netherlands and in the Company; 
and after much delay Stny vesant sailed with seven ships and more than 
six hundred men — a powerful force, which made all hope of resistance 
impossible. The Swedes surrendered, and the Swedish power 
was finally overthrown. The bankrupt Company was, how- 
ever, burdened with its conquest, so they gave part of it to the city of 
Amsterdam ; New Amstcl was founded, and emigrants came out But 
the colony did not thrive ; disease was rife, and complete possession 
seemed worse than doubtful ownership of the Delaware. 

While Stuyvesant was conquering the Swedes an Indian war broke 
out in the neighborhood of Manhattan ; and, in the absence of troops, 
the savages massacred the inhabitants of Pavonia, and harried Long 
Island. Stuyvesant, summoned back in haste, by his bravery and vig- 
or checked the war, and soon after obtained peace ; but there was now 
a fresh danger to New Netherlands in the advances of the French, and 
only the shrewd and peaceful policy puraued by the patroon*s people 
at Beverwyck kept the Mohawks neutral, and saved the settle- 
ments from utter destruction during a second Indian war, which 
began with a massacre at Esopus, and went on, intermittently, for more 
than five years. Relieved, however, from his most serious troubles, Stuy- 
vesant turned his energy into a new channel, and undertook to enforce 
religious uniformity by a relentless persecution of Lutherans and Quak- 
ers. He arrested and imprisoned the former, refused them a meeting- 
house, and drove their ministers from the colony, while the Quakers 
suffered still more ; they were arrested, tried, and imprisoned ; beaten, 
hung up by their hands, forced to hard labor, and subjected to every 
form of abuse and punishment. This policy had little result, except 
to create ill feeling, and found no sympathy among a people who were 
profoundly indifferent on such matters ; neither did it interfere with 
the prosperity and growth of New Netherlands, which seemed at last 
to have reached firm ground, and was steadily advancing in wealth and 

In these years of prosperity, however, the end of the Dutch power 
drew on. The danger did not come from the Indians, nor from the 
French, but from the kindred race which was destined to rule the 
continent At the north, Massachusetts threatened to settle upon the 
banks of the Hudson ; on Long Island, the English of Connecticut 
pressed hard upon the boundary lines ; on the South river. New Eng^ 
landers traded in defiance of Dutch laws and Dutch forts; and the 
southern English began to encroach upon Dutch territory. Lord Bal- 


timore renewed his claim to the whole South ri7cr region ; and his 
agents demanding a surrender of the province, bade fair to wrest it 
from the Dutch as the latter had from the Swedes. By skilful and pro- 
tracted negotiation, the Dutch warded o£E this attack, and trans- 
ferred the controversy to Europe. At the same time they turn- 
ed over the whole province to the city of Amsterdam ; but the effort 
was vain ; the colony of the south continued feeble and languishing, 
and the temporary success against Lord Baltimore was soon clouded 
by events at the north. In the charter which Winthrop obtained from 
Charles IL, Connecticut and New Haven were consolidated, and 
all Long Island and the northern New Netherlands were de- 
clared within the Connecticut boundaries. Thereupon the indepen- 
dent towns on Long Island fell off, and Connecticut men appeared 
not only in Westchester, but among the Dutch towns of Long Island, 
which they renamed, and proclaimed to be under English jurisdiction. 
Stnyvesant, with an empty treasury and a breaking province, was 
helpless and desperate, and a new torn of affairs only made matters 
worse. One John Scott, an adventurer well known in that region, 
came out with a commission, in which Maverick and Baxter were 
joined, from the committee on trade and plantations. He obtained 
aid from Connecticut, and then announced that all Long Island had 
been granted to the Duke of York. The English then united in 
support of the new dispensation ; Scott was declared president, and, 
making himself roaster of the Dutch towns, threatened to invade 
New Amsterdam. This roused Stuyvcsant to a last despairing effort 
He raised money and men, after much altercation, renewed the de- 
fences, and defied Scott, who was brought to terms, and agreed to 
leave the Dutch towns unmolested for a year. The lull was deceitful. 
The commissioners of the King of England — NicoUs, Carr, Cartwright, 
and Maverick — soon arrived at Boston to regulate New England and 
conquer the Dutch. They could get no troops from Massa- 
chusetts, but they did from Connecticut ; and in August, 1664, 
while the Director was at Fort Orange, appeared off the Narrows, 
and, before he could return, the whole squadron was assembled. 
Stuyvcsant strove to prepare for an energetic defence ; but the citi- 
zens were panic-stricken, and the soldiers mutinous; so that the favor- 
able offers of Nicolls were only too readily listened to. Stuyvcsant 
raged and swore, and wished to make a desperate fight in his inde- 
fensible and terrified town ; but his struggle was vain. Nicolls guar- 
anteed protection of life and property, religious liberty, freedom of 


trade and emigration, and representative government Stnyveaant 
was forced to ratify the treaty of surrender, and on the 8th of Sep- 
tember marched out at the head of his soldiers and embarked them 
for Holland, and New Amsterdam became New York ; while Fort 
Orange was taken by Cartwright and christened Albany. Carr re- 
duced Fort Casimir and the Sonth river settlements, and the Dutch 
power in America perished. 

The English carefully observed the terms of the snrrcnder, and 
everything proceeded quietly and with little apparent change, ex- 
cept in the new English names. Nicolls was Governor, with an Eng- 
lish secretary and English councillors to assist him ; but the former 
Dutch officers were consulted, and nothing was done to wound the 
feelings of the people. An oath of allegiance to the Duke was exact- 
ed, and taken without much opposition. Nicolls^s first trouble came 
from his grants in New Jersey, which were interfered with by 
the Duke's gift to Carteret and Berkeley. He was compelled 
to admit the new-comers, but at the same time wrote coroplainingly 
to the Duke, and thus began the long and discreditable attempt to 
recover what had once been given away. There were differences, 
too, with Connecticut, which were finally amicably settled. New York 
obtained the whole of Long Island; and Connecticut secured the 
main-land west of the Connecticut River, by a boundary which was 
defined very shrewdly in the Connecticut interest, was never con- 
firmed, and became the source of future controversy. A code known 
as the Duke's laws was drawn up, and promulgated at first on Long 
Island, where there was more interest in matters of government, and 
afterward in New York. This code, with little regard for popular 
representation, provided for a court of assizes annually at New York, 
for courts of sessions and county officers, and for town overseers. 
Land grants were to be confirmed, trade was regulated, crimes and 
penalties were defined, and religious liberty assured. There was some 
grumbling over English names in the municipal government of New 
York, but the offices were fairly distributed between the two races. 
The war in Europe did not disturb the peace, but Nicolls took every 
precaution against the French, who contented themselves with first 
fighting and then making peace with the Mohawks — an event of ill 
omen to the English. The only political agitation was on Long Isl- 
and, among the English, in regard to quit-rents, fees, and land 
grants, but Nicolls, with quiet firmness, prevailed. The news 
of peace, which restored an interrupted commerce, was hailed with 


delight; and soon after Nicolls, wise, jast, and an excellent Governor, 
left the province, regretted by all. 

Under his soccessor, Francis Lovelace, matters went on qaietly and 
in the same way. English energy and activity b^an to make them- 
selves felt in New York ; bnt the easy Dutch customs still prevailed, 
and there was peace and comfort everywhere, except on Long Island, 
where there were again disturbances on account of taxes. All this 
quiet, however, was threatened and finally broken up by the second 
war between Holland and England. Lovelace was ordered to make 
every preparation, and did what was in his power ; but as nothing 
happened, the old feeling of security returned, and while Lovelace was 
absent from the city the dreaded Dutch fleet appeared. The English 
were now as helpless as their predecessors, with rotten fortifications, 
a feeble garrison, and a hostile population. Manning, the lieutenant 
of Lovelace, tried to protract negotiation ; but the Dutch grew impa- 
tient, opened fire on the fort, which was returned, landed soldiers, and 
the town capitulated. The people of English blood quietly sub- 
mitted, the Dutch colonists rejoiced, and again there was little 
change except in names. Anthony Colve was appointed Grovernor, 
and took active measures to prepare against an invasion from New 
England, which was both alarmed and enraged by the Dutch triumph. 
Just as Colve, however, had brought all the province under Dutch 
authority, the treaty of Westminster ceded New Netherlands -to the 
dominions of England. The Dutch colonists were furious, but there 
was nothing to be done. English frigates appeared, and Colve turned 
over the province to Sir Edmund Andros ; it seemed as if the gov- 
ernment of NicoUs and Lovelace had hardly been disturbed, 
and the Dutch power, after this last returning gleam, finally 
disappeared from America. 

With the arrival of Andros, English energy and activity, which were 
interrupted by the war, came in again on all sides, and began to devel- 
op rapidly the wonderful resources of the province, which, under the 
long years of Dutch supremacy, had gathered only some seven thousand 
inhabitants against the hundred and twenty thousand of their New Eng- 
land neighbors. The rule of Andros, although despotic, was, within the 
bounds of his province, on the whole, wise and strong. He quarrelled 
with the people about the arbitrary customs duties imposed by the 
Dutch ; but he also began and carried on the sound and essential pol- 
icy of detaching the Five Nations from the French and fastening them 
to the English interests. He strove in every way to thwart and check 


the French power at the north, and endeavored to develop Albany, 
and secure for the town the monopoly of the great Indian trade, of 
which it was the natural centre. His foreign contrasted strongly with 
his domestic policy. He felt the insignificance of his place, and to him 
more than to any one was due the scheme, finally adopted when James 
reached the throne, of uniting under one government all the northern 
colonies, and he even endeavored to give effect to this policy during 
his own administration. He claimed all the western portion of Con- 
necticut ; but when he landed at Saybrook to enforce his demands he 
was driven off by a troop of New England soldiers, and was hardly 
permitted to read his patent In Maine he established a fort at Pema- 
quid, as a sign of his master's ownership ; but it was an expensive and 
unprofitable experiment His chief effort was in New Jersey, where 
he carried on an aggressive and violent contest to regain the province. 
He strove to raise duties, seized ships and goods, arrested Fen wick 
several times, and followed this up by arresting Carteret and trying 
him in New York, refusing to free him, even after the jury had ac- 
quitted him. This quarrel in East New Jersey, although it did 
not displease the Duke of York, aroused a hostility in Eng- 
land before which Andros had to succumb, and he was recalled. 

Anthony Brockholst succeeded him, and after a brief term, distin- 
guished only by a violent quarrel with the merchants about duties, 
which resulted in the arrest of Dyre, the collector of custom^ 
and by a last attempt to domineer over East Jersey, he was 
in turn succeeded by Colonel Thomas Dongan, who brought with 
him a charter of liberties, which gave New York her first taste of 
representative government, and which was as liberal as most of the 
colonial charters. It provided for a general Assembly of eighteen, 
who, with the Governor and Council, were to constitute the gov- 
ernment of the colony. The Duke was to grant lands and estab- 
lish custom - houses ; but no tax was to be levied without the as- 
sent of the Assembly. Trial by jury was assured, together with relig- 
ious toleration ; but no act was to become law without the assent of 
the Duke, and as he gave his assent to no act, and revoked the 
charter as soon as he came to the throne, the gleam of popu- 
lar government was short-lived. Dongan was sent out largely because 
he was a Roman Catholic, and was therefore fitted to forward the re- 
ligious schemes of James ; but, unfortunately, the principal events of 
his administration were the struggles to maintain the Iroquois alliance, 
and ward off both the armed assaults of the French upon the Five Na- 


tions, and their scarcely less dangerous efforts to draw them away by 
means of intriguing, proselyting Jesuits. James in many ways did 
everything to hamper Dongan, and help the French, on account of his 
bigoted love of every Catholic ; but the Governor remained tnie to 
the interests of the province. He persisted in the policy of Andros, 
supported the Iroquois with saccess, and did all in his power to check 
the French. He continued, too, like Andros, to urge the annexation 
of Connecticut, although he settled the much-disputed boundary with 
that colony. He also advocated the absorption of Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, but he effected nothing ; and while incurring the dis- 
pleasure of his master by his wise Indian policy, he gave great vitality 
to the dread of Papists, always strong among a people who had known 
French massacres and feared Jesuit intrigues. There was therefore 
but little regret when he was removed, although the manner in 
which it was done by annexing New York to New England 
under the rule of Andros was far from popular. 

Andros was, nevertheless, well received in New York when he re- 
turned there with enlarged powers. He visited the Iroquois, and 
cemented their alliance, and then departed, leaving the now absolute 
government in the hands of the appointed Council and of Francis 
Nicholson, the Lieutenant-governor. This government, in appear- 
ance so fairly begun, was of short duration. In February it was 
known that William had landed in England, in April that the Bos- 
tonians had cast Andros into prison. Everything was prepared for 
an outbreak in Now York. The strong popular dread of the Papists, 
inflamed by Dongan's open Catholicism and Nicholson's doubtful 
Protestantism, the Dutch admiration for the Prince of Orange, and 
the general hatred of Stuart government, common to all the colonies, 
furnished the elements for insurrection. Nicholson and his Council 
seem to have been paralyzed. They renewed the fortifications, and, call- 
ing together the militia, gave the alarm of French invasion, but would 
not proclaim William ; and soon after, Nicholson laid down his gov- 
ernment, and prepared to sail. The power, dropped in this nerveless 
way, was seized, of course, by the men in arms, the militia, under the 
lead of Jacob Leisler, a merchant, and captain of a train-band. An 
agreement was signed, the fort taken, the Prince of Orange proclaim- 
ed ; and Leisler, who was at the head of the government, got the ben- 
efit of the confirmation of all Protestant officers, which came from 
William to Nicholson. The remnant of the Council .was opposed to 
Leisler, who proceeded to put down all opposition with a high hand. 


He was arbitrary, inexperienced, and hot-headed. He crashed out his 
enemies, and managed the affairs of the province despotically, taking 
to himself all authority and instructions from England. In outside 
matters he appeared to better advantage. War had been declared with 
France, and Frontenac, the ablest and most daring of the French gov- 
ernors, was in command in Canada. In the dead of winter his war 
parties swooped down upon Schenectady, fired the village, and 
slaughtered the inhabitants. The whole frontier was in dangert 
and a merciless Indian war had come. Leisler called upon the other 
colonies to send representatives to New York ; and in response seven 
delegates appeared, chiefly from New England. An expedition was ar- 
ranged and quotas agreed upon ; but the expedition was a failure, al- 
though Leisler*s military administration was vigorous and spirited. He 
not only helped the expedition, but rebuilt the fort, and sent out priva- 
teers to attack French cruisers. Still harsher vigor in the province did 
not increase his popularity, and embittered his enemies, whose opporta- 
nity was now at hand. Major Richard Ingoldsby arrived from 
England with a company of grenadiers and demanded the sur- 
render of the fort ; which, as he had no commission, Leisler refused. 
Firing ensued on both sides ; but the unlucky Leisler was shooting at 
royal troops. At last Sloughter, a worthless fellow, appointed Grovem- 
or more than a year before, reached New York, and Leisler was obliged 
to surrender; when he and his friends were at once thrown into 
prison, tried for murder and treason, found guilty, and sentenced to 
death. Sloughter reprieved the prisoners until tbo King's pleasure 
could be known, and then, as he was ordered, called an Assembly, 
which, in the excitement of the times, was secured by the party of 
the old councillors — Lcisler's bitter enemies. With this influence, 
and backed by petitions, they persuaded Sloughter, during a drink- 
ing bout, to sign Leislcr's death-warrant, and he, together with his 
son-in-law and chief- abettor, Milbome, were immediately executed. 
Perhaps Leisler was technically guilty. He was a man thrown to the 
surface, and strong enough to grasp power in a time of popular con- 
vulsion, ill led, and based on no definite principles, and he had cer- 
tainly acted illegally and arbitrarily. But his death was a revengeful 
political murder. It was as foolish as it was cruel and unnecessary, 
it created two bitter parties in New York, and left a lasting mark on 
her provincial histoty. The insurrection itself was a pass- 
ing thing, and was otherwise without result Sloughter him- 
self died soon after, when Ingoldsby held power for a short time. 


and then Benjamin Fletcher came ont as Governor, with a royal com- 

He bronght instmctions involving no change from the policy of 
James, except in the recognition of the Assembly. The Governor 
"was to have a salary from the revenue, the Conncil was to be appoint- 
ed, all laws approved, and the Book of Common Prayer was to be in- 
troduced. He was also ordered to take command of the Connecticut 
militia, which involved a quarrel with Governor Phips of Massachusetts, 
who had received a similar order, and took Fletcher to Hartford, where 
lie found the general court in session. Tradition says that the militia 
were drawn up to receive him, and that, when he attempted to read 
his commission, the drums were beaten, and the voice of the reader 
drowned. It is certain that the resistance in Connecticut was so de- 
termined and formidable that Fletcher retired to New York humili- 
ated and baffled. He fared better in the war with the French, who 

were again on the frontier. They were driven off by Peter 

Schuyler, after destroying the Mohawk villages, and the rest of 
Frontenac's campaign came to nothing. This was the only creditable 
event of Fletcher's administration. He was one of the leavings of the 
Stuart period, as worthless a man as Sloughter, but tiot without ability, 
and thoroughly corrupt He was in league with the pirates who in- 
fested the coast, openly sold them licenses, and is even said to have 
shared their spoils; while at the same time he plundered the revenne, 
and connived at smuggling and every sort of illicit trade. The prov- 
ince was torn with the dissensions of the Leislerian and anti-Leislerian 
factions ; and, instead of trying to allay thein, Fletcher devoted himself 

to intriguing and quan-elling with his Assemblies for money. 

At last his evil doing led to his recall, and the Eavl of Bello- 
mont came out as his successor. 

The old policy of consolidation had been lately revived, and Bel- 
lomont received the government not only of New York, but of 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire. He came with excellent inten- 
tions, purposing to cure the evils of Fletcher's rule, stop frauds, and 
provide for an honest collection of the revenue ; and, above all, sup- 
press piracy. In these objects he succeeded in large measure. He 
had been chiefly instrumental in sending out Eidd to break up piracy, 
and was pereonally interested in bringing him to justice, now that he 
had become the terror of the seas. This he accomplished, and he 
gave a severe check to piracy everywhere. He brought the govern- 
ment of New York back to order and decency, and obtained from the 


Assembly an act of indemnity for Lcislcr, whose body, with that of 
MiIborne*s, he canscd to be taken np and baried with public obsonr- 
ance. His efforts to remedy the injustice of his predecessors gave 
him the full support and confidence of the popular party, so 
that his death, which occurred three years after his arrival, was 
much regretted. 

The old party of the Council, headed by Bayard and Livingston, 
took advantage of the opportunity thus afforded, and made a desper- 
ate attempt to regain power ; but were thwarted by Nanfan, the Lieu- 
tenant-governor, and the popular party. Livingston, the collector, was 
declared a defaulter, and his property confiscated ; while Bayard, for 
complaining of Nanfan, was tried for disturbing the peace, found 
guilty, and would have been punished had it not been for the 
arrival of the new Governor in the person of Lord Cornbury, 
a wretched profligate and bankrupt speudthrift, for whom his royal 
kinswoman made provision by thrusting him into a colonial govern- 
ment. His first idea was to get rich, and he opened his adminis- 
tration by stealing some fifteen hundred pounds which the Assembly 
had voted for fortifications ; a freak which led to the appointment of 
a treasurer by the Assembly to stop further thefts — ^a course of action 
very disgusting to the Governor. He sought the support of the old 
anti-Leislerian faction, thus alienating the majority of the people ; and 
finally lost the support of all parties by his misconduct He was as 
zealous in religion as in vice, and endeavored to enforce the worship 
of the Church of England by attacking all dissenting sects, and espe- 
cially the Presbyterians, whose churches, parsonages, and glebes he 
seized and gave to the Established Church. He incurred the bitter 
enmity in this way of the mass of the people, roused an enduring 
hatred of the English Church, and established a controversy and a 
grievance which were only appeased by the Revolution. While he 
thus gained general hatred, he also won universal contempt by his 
debaucheries and excesses, by his debts, and by his habit of dress- 
ing as a woman. He was plunged in one long quarrel with his As- 
semblies, both in New York and New Jersey, plotted with Dudley, 
of Massachusetts, to destroy the free -charter governments of Con- 
necticut and Rhode Island, and at last excited such loud and 
strenuous opposition that he was recalled, but could not return 
to England until his accession to the Earldom of Clarendon released 
him from prison, into which he had been thrown for debt. 

His immediate and warmly welcomed successor, Lord Lovelace, died 


soon after his accession, and the government fell into the hands of In- 
goldsby, as Lieutenant-governor, the friend of Sloughter and 
Fletcher, and the tool of Ck)rnbur7. He made a wretched Gov- 
ernor, and was soon removed, the only event of his administration be- 
ing the first issne of bills of credit in aid of an invasion of Canada, 
which failed miserably through the miscarriage of the English fleet 
The long, protracted war between France and England, and the contin- 
ual attacks from the north, excited in the colonists an eager desire to 
conquer Canada, and several futile attempts were made. Peter Schuy- 
ler took five Iroquois chiefs to England to raise an interest in the mat- 
ter, and by the greatest efforts the combined English forces suc- 
ceeded in capturing Port Royal and getting possession of Nova 
Scotia. Before this, however, Robert Hunter, a soldier and courtier, and 
the friend of Swift and Addison, came out as Governor. He surround- 
ed himself with the aristocratic party of the Council, which thus came 
again to power, and at once was in conflict with his Assembly on the 
question of salaries and supplies ; for the representatives, with Corn- 
bury in their minds, were naturally suspicious, and in no mood to turn 
over the public funds to any Governor. They all managed, however, 
to unite in support of the war and a grand expedition against Canada. 
New York issued ten thousand pounds in bills of credit ; there was a 
congress of Grovemors, and the colonies raised four thousand 
men to march under the command of Nicholson against Mont- 
real; but all the great hopes raised by these preparations came to 
nothing. The Bntish fleet and forces, under the command of Admiral 
Walker and General Hill, miscarried stupidly and miserably in the St. 
Lawrence, and withdrew, and Nicholson was thereby forced to retreat. 
This disastrous result caused great depression and fear at New York, 
which found expression in the discovery of a supposed " negro plot," 
and the consequent execution of nineteen wretched blacks. 
The peace of Utrecht relieved the colony from war, but it 
found itself encumbered with debt, and in no very good humor with 
the Governor, who persisted in fighting for salaries and revenue. He 
also erected a court of chancery, with himself as chancellor — a meas- 
ure which produced a violent and lasting opposition. Hunter, how- 
ever, was sustained in England, and the court of chancery remained, 
and became a standing grievance ; but after this conflict matters set- 
tled down, and the peaceful Walpole era began. Hunter got 
the npperhand in the Assembly, and ruled wisely and judicious- 
ly ; so that he was able, when he left the province, to justly congrat- 


ulatc the Assembly on increased prosperity, and upon the improved 
condition of public affain. 

His successor was William Burnet, the son of the hishop, an active, 
imperious, energetic man, with high notions of his office, and a 
determination to carry out his schemes at all costs. He re- 
solved on an active policy against France, and obtained the passage 
of an act forbidding all trade with Canada; thus arousing a power- 
ful and interested opposition on account of the interference with a 
profitable trade, which went on despite the law. This resistance was 
strengthened by a fresh opposition to the unpopular court of chancery ; 
and Burnet, hot-tempered and the reverse of conciliatory, plunged 
along from one quarrel to another — from courts to salaries and fees 
and supplies — until, despite his success in cementing and extending the 
Indian alliances, and establishing a trading post at Oswego, he 
found himself in a hopeless minority in the Assembly, and was 
transferred to Massachusetts, where still worse contests awaited him. 
He was succeeded in the following year by John Montgomerie, who 
died after a hricf and uneventful rule of three years. For a 
few months Rip Van Dam, the president of the Council, was at 
the head of affairs, and then Colonel Cosby came out from England 
as Governor. Cosby was a money -getter, like most of the 
royal Governors ; and, as he had been appointed nearly a year 
before his amval, he demanded that Van Dam, who had held sway in 
the interval, should divide with him his salary and perquisites. Van 
Dam naturally declining, there was a great equity suit, and the whole 
matter drifted into politics, Van Dam heing supported on general prin- 
ciples by the popular, and Cosby by the aristocratic party, so that the 
struggle soon became bitter and violent This contest fonned the prin- 
cipal feature of Cosby's administration ; and although he was unpop- 
ular, and had the usual wrangles with the Assembly about money, and 
interference with land grants and titles, nothing else happened of im- 
portance. Out of this controversy, however, between Van Dam and 
the Governor grew another suit, which was of abiding interest Peter 
Zenger published the New York Weekly Journal; and as he used it in 
behalf of the opposition, his paper was ordered to be burned, and he 
was thrown into prison and brought to trial for libel. He was de- 
fended by Andrew Hamilton, of Pennsylvania — born in England, and 
there bred to the bar — who was the first lawyer to win great profes- 
sional fame in America. In Zenger*s case, he admitted the publishing 
and printing, but took the ground that the truth was a justification. 


and that the words were neither false, scandalous, nor seditious ; and 
after listening to his masterly speech, the jury returned a verdict of 
not guilty. Hamilton was presented with the freedom of the city in 
a gold box, and departed amid the firing of salutes in his hon- 
or. Soon after this victory of the popular party Cosby died, 
and the contest assumed a new form. Van Dam claimed the place 
of acting-Governor as the oldest member of the Council ; but that 
body held that ho had been removed, and declared Greorge Clarke to 
be the oldest member, and Lieutenant-governor. Van Dam had the 
popular support ; Clarke, who was disliked as the lineal successor of 
Cosby's policy, had that of the Council and the aristocracy. Both men 
assumed to hold the o£Sce and to act ; and while Clarke seized the fort, 
the populace rallied about Van Dam. Feeling began to run very high, 
and it looked as if there would be a resort to arms ; but a royal com- 
mission arrived confirming Clarke in his office, and quiet was restored. 
Clarke, although a native of England, had been long in the province, 
and was a shrewd and successful local politician ; so that for seven years 
he contrived to prevent his being superseded by the arrival of a Grov- 
ernor^ and during that time, despite a never-dying controversy with the 
Assembly, he managed to rule peacefully by yielding to the popular 
party on all impoi*tant points, and confining himself to remonstrances. 
He farther mitigated the opposition to his administration by offers of 
office to the popular leaders, thus dividing and distracting them. The 
only great event of his term was the dark misfortune of the negro 
plot, with its resulting panic and judicial slaughter. This mat- 
ter is discussed elsewhere ; but it may be said here that the 
government generally, including De Lancey, the chief -^justice, on one 
side, and Clarke on the other, fell in readily with the popular terror, 
and supported the steps taken for the punishment of the supposed 

Two years after this event a new Governor was appointed — Admi- 
ral Clinton, the second son of the Earl of Lincoln — who fell 
into the hands of De Lancey, the leader of the popular party, 
and was by him persuaded to confirm the concessions of Clarke, from 
whom the Assembly had extorted the right to ^tl the Govemor^s sal- 
ary annually, a claim which had been successfully denied by Hunter, 
and strenuously resisted by his successors, until Clarke had given way. 
Not content with their triumph on this point, De Lancey induced the 
Governor to assent to an appropriation bill, which named the officers 
to whom salaries were to be paid, thus practically putting the control 



of appointments in the hands of the Assembly. At last Clinton 
awakened to the elEects of his acts, and the rest of his tenn of of- 
fice was one prolonged struggle to r^^ain lost groand, and re-establish 
his enfeebled prerogatives. He quarrelled with De Lancey, and se- 
lected Cadwallader Golden as his chief adviser, which merely added 
the hostility of the Council to that of the Assembly. He complained 
bitterly to the ministers; but even there he found no sympathy, and 
was obliged to convey to De Lancey, after much delay, the commi»- 
sion of Lieutenant-governor. The struggle began just as war with 
France was declared, and the Assembly proved thoroughly intracta- 
ble, and would not make provision for defence. They finally gave 
three thousand pounds for the Louisburg expedition, but raised 
no men, and had no farther share in the matter. A new Aa- 
sembly proved no more compliant, and although they voted more 
money for the Louisburg expedition, would do nothing for the Gov- 
ernor. That winter the Indians were on the frontier and destroyed 
Saratoga; and the next year preparations were made for a grand 
expedition against them, which failed through inaction and delay, 
while the Assembly persisted in their refusal to pay the troops, both 
branches uniting against the Governor. William Johnson, a friend of 
the Governor and the famous agent among the Indians, failed to take 
Crown Point; the troops mutinied and began to disperse, and this 
miserable condition was only relieved by the peace of Aix- 
la-Cbapelle, which, however, gave full opportunity for political 
warfare. The fight was made on the well-worn subject of permanent 
supply for the government, and public feeling was still further in- 
flamed by attempts at impressment and by the overbearing conduct of 
British o£Scers. A dead-lock ensued which lasted nearly two years, 
when the Governor gave way, and signed the obnoxious bills making 
annual appropriations ; and after this decisive defeat, matters went on 
more smoothly until the close of his term. He was succeeded 
by Sir Danvers Osborn, who committed suicide a few days af- 
ter his arrival, and Clinton was thus forced to turn the government 
over to his enemy, De Lancey, and return to England with such com- 
fort as he could derive from the handsome fortune which he had 
amassed during his administration. Under De Lancey political har- 
mony was restored. The Assembly amused themselves by bringing 
heavy charges against Clinton, whom they accused of every sort of 
pecuniary misdeed ; but they did not gain a hearing from the Board 
of Trade. Meanwhile the slowly gathering war with France began, 


and De Lancey had the honor of presiding at the Albany Congress, 
where he opposed Franklin's scheme of nnion, which provided 
for a general governmeot, with certain specified powers, chief- 
ly relating to war, Indians, and lands, and was to be composed of a 
President and Council appointed by the Crown, and a Honse of Rep- 
resentatives elected by the colonial Assemblies. The scheme was re- 
jected both in England and America, by ministry and people, and De 
Lancey *s' opposition had plenty of support. i 

In the following year the war became general and active, and in the 
great conflict which followed New York was not only the scene 
of many important battles, but played herself an important 
part. At the outset Braddock was to march against Fort Du Quesne, 
Shirley, with American troops, against the French at Niagara, and the 
northern forces were to attack Crown Point. The story of Brad- 
dock's expedition and his crushing defeat belongs to the history of 
Yiiginia, whose soldiers shared in the losses and did most of the fight- 
ing, and does not need repetition here. To the northward the Eng- 
lish fared better, and Nova Scotia was reduced by Winslow. Shirley 
gathered troops at Oswego, but advanced no farther, stopped, appar- 
ently, by rumors of superior forces, and by the depression and dismay 
caused by Braddock's defeat The other northern expedition was put 
under the command of Johnson, the Indian agent. He left troops at 
the Hudson, where defences were thrown up, which afterward took the 
name of Fort Edward, and then moved northward to the southern ex- 
tremity of Lake Geoige, where he proceeded to intrench himself and 
make a base for his movement against Crown Point, and where he 
heard that Baron Dieskau, with an army of French and Indians, was 
rapidly pushing southward. Dieskau's first plan was to attack Fort 
Edward ; but he was deterred by the Indian dread of cannon, and 
turned against Johnson. He surprised and routed a heavy detach- 
ment sent out by Johnson, and the English retreated in haste to Fort 
George. A quarter of an hour gave the English time to recover 
themselves; so that when Dieskau advanced the cannon opened fire, 
and the provincials, gradually gathering their senses disordered by the 
sight of regular troops, began to pick off the French soldiers. The 
battle soon raged furiously. Johnson was wounded, but his place was 
well filled by Lyman, of Connecticut. Repeated charges were made 
by the French ; but all were repulsed. Dieskau was severely wound- 
ed. The provincials rushed over the works, and with clubbed muskets 
beat down the French regulars, while the Indians and Canadians fled 


in disorder. The rcmDant of the French army, surprised on their re- 
treat by the garrison of Fort Edward, was broken, and suffered heav- 
ily, and lost their baggage and ammunition. Johnson, however, did 
not follow up his victory, but remained at Fort George and strength- 
ened his defences. He was made a baronet, and received five thou- 
sand pounds for his services, while the brave Lyman, whom he ijighted 
in his despatches, got nothing. This success did something to relieve 
the gloom of Braddock's overthrow. 

The same autumn a new Governor, Admiral Sir Charles Hardy, 
came out to New York ; but as he suffered himself to be guided by 
De Lancey, matters went on as before. The winter was passed in 
futile scheming, and Shirley was removed to make room for 
Lord Loudon, who summoned the colonial Governors, made 
great plans, scolded the colonies, and did nothing. The English gov- 
ernment, both at home and abroad, seemed to be in its dotage. With 
the French it was very different. In Montcalm they had an able, en- 
ergetic leader, and a bold and enterprising general. They were beat- 
en back by Bradstreet, in northern New York, in several small affairs ; 
but while Loudon lingered at Albany, Montcalm came down with all 
his forces and captured Oswego. Loudon thereupon gave up his Ca- 
nadian expeditions, went into winter-quarters, and devoted himself to 
strengthening Fort William Henry, at the foot of Lake Geoi^, and 
Fort Edward. Soon after Hardy departed to take command 
of a fleet, after nrging upon the Assembly the necessity of 
prosecuting the war, and left the government once more witb De 
Lancey. In the following spring Loudon again summoned the Gov- 
ernors, rated the colonies, and laid great schemes. The colonies again 
responded, men were furnished, and then scattered in detached bodies 
on the frontier, while Loudon, with the other British officers, gave their 
attention to an attack on Louisburg; and as they were making up 
their minds that this attempt would be hopeless, Montcalm came down 
Lake Champlain and Lake George with all his forces, and captured 
Fort William Henry and two thousand men. Many of the prisoners 
were butchered by the Indians ; and during the siege Webb, at Fort 
Edward, with four thousand soldiers, was deaf to the entreaties of the 
provincials, and refused to move to the relief of Fort William Hen- 
ry. This utter and disgraceful defeat converted the campaign into 
one of weak defence ; and Loudon took occasion to quarrel still fur- 
ther with the colonies, and almost produced riots by his methods of 
distributing and quartering soldiers. 


This reign of palsied incompetence bad, however, now reached an 
end. Pitt had control, Loudon was removed, the spirit of the 
"Great Commoner" was felt everywhere, and men and money 
were readily furnished for another campaign, and in larger measure 
than ever before. In June, Boscawen with his fleet, and Amherst and 
Wolfe with the land-forces, took Louisbutg, and large bodies of troops 
were gathered to attack the French at every point. The principal ex- 
pedition was directed against Ticonderoga, consisted of ten thousand 
provincials and seven thousand regulars, fully equipped, and was com- 
manded by General Abercrombie and Lord Howe. This large army 
advanced full of confidence; but in the first skirmish the advance- 
guard was surprised, and Lord Howe killed. A desperate attac^ was 
then made upon the French defences, and was kept up until two thou- 
sand men had fallen, when a retreat was ordered, which turned into a 
precipitate flight. The dispirited and beaten army was rallied at Fort 
William Henry ; but nothing was done to retrieve the disaster whieh 
had befallen them, except by Colonel Bradstreet, who induced Aber- 
crombie to let him have three thousand men and some cannon. Witii 
this force he reduced Fort Frontenac, on Lake Ontario, and fortified 
Oswego, restoring safety to the northern frontier of New York, and 
holding the Indians in check. Forbes, meanwhile, had captured Fort 
Du Quesne, and thus, despite the terrible disaster to Abercrombie, 
the balance in the campaign was decidedly in favor of the English. 
This was strongly felt in America, and, incited by Pitt, New York 
and the other northern colonies made greater efforts than ever for 
the coming campaign, which was destined to bo one of great and 
unalloyed triumphs. Expeditions were planned for every assailable 
point, and, fortunately, all succeeded. Wolfe captured Que- 
bec, and, by one of the great battles of history, decided the 
fate of the empire of France in the New World. Stanwix succeeded 
on the Ohio. Prideaux, who had been sent against Fort Niagara, was 
killed by the bursting of a cohorn early in the siege; and the com- 
mand then devolved upon Sir William Johnson, who repulsed a re- 
lieving force and captured the fort, thus destroying the French pow- 
er in the west. The hard-fought path to Canada by Lake Champlain 
had been confided to Amherst, who started in July, and the French 
fell back before his cautious advance from Ticonderoga to Crown 
Point, and from Crown Point to Isle-aux-Noix, where they prepared 
to make a stand. There the English were compelled to build a fieet, 
time was consumed, and Amherst was obliged to go into winter-quar- 


ters, wLere he occupied himself in making every arrangement for the 
next year. 

New York, greatly exposed, and deeply interested in the result, 
continued to make every effort in her power for the support 
of the war; hut in July she had the misfortune to lose her 
Licutenant^overnor, James Delancey, who had ruled wisely and well, 
and shown that it was possible for a Governor and Assembly to act 
unitedly in support of the war, and raise large suras of money by 
taxation. He was succeeded by Cadwallader Golden, an old friend of 
Clinton, unpopular, and allied to the Episcopalian and British party, 
so that the hostility between Governor and Assembly which had slept 
so long was at once awakened in full vigor. Meantime the war went 
on ; the arrangements of Amherst were complete ; and while Havi- 
land moved up the line of Lake Cham plain, the main body, under the 
commander- in -chief, made their way to the north up Lake Ontario 
and down the St. Lawrence. The French fell back everywhere, sur- 
rendering their posts ; and the armies from Quebec and Albany met 
at last before Montreal. There was no escape ; Vaudreuil capitulated, 
Canada was conquered, and the French empire in America e£Eaced. 
One legacy of the conquest was the general rising of the Indian tribes 
under Pontiac ; but they were checked at Detroit and Niagara by the 
soldiers of Amherst, and beaten by Bouquet in Pennsylvania. Hos- 
tilities still went on until 1764 along the frontiers, although the col- 
onies did not suffer severely. 

Colden was superseded by General Monckton, who went away to 
capture Martinique, and soon after resigned New York entire- 
lieaJ 'y» ®^ ^^*^ ^® interfered but little, on the whole, with the Lieu- 
tenant-governor. The Assembly continued to meet the requi- 
sitions of England, but they also began to wrangle with Colden, and 
were much occupied with the contest in regard to the territory of Ver- 
mont. Peace was hailed with delight ; but the fair prospects which 
seemed to open with the removal of the dreaded enemy on the north 
were soon overclouded by the development of the ministerial policy 
of taxing America. The first step was the enforcement of the Navi- 
gation Act, and bore very hardly on New York, which was largely en- 
gaged in illicit trade, long connived at by England, with the French 
and Spanish possessions ; and thus the way was prepared for the uni- 
versal bnrst of indignation which greeted the news of the Stamp Act. 
Parties had always been bitter in New York, and the old lines were 
rapidly drawn on the new question. New York responded readily 


to the invitation of Massacbasetts for a Congress ; and in New York 
that Congress was held, comprising twenty -eight delegates 
from nine colonies, presided over by Timothy Buggies, and 
led by James Otis, of Massachasetts, and Gadsden, of South Carolina. 
Thus in New York the resolutions were passed denying the right of 
taxation without representation, and demanding a repeal of the Stamp 
Act ; and there, by that Congress, the union of the English colonies 
in America was founded. 


Chapter XVH. 
new york in 1765. 

The American colonies were not only governed and controlled by 
the English, but in every case, except New York and Delaware, men 
of that race laid the foundations of the future States. New York was 
established, built up, and ruled for fifty years by people of a different 
nationality, although of a kindred origin ; and this circumstance had 
a marked effect not only upon the history of the colony, but upon 
the social and political system which was gradually developed on the 
banks of the Hudson. 

At the time of the Revolution the population of New York 
amounted to about one hundred and seventy, thousand, of whom 
twenty thousand were negroes/ The larger portion of the whites 
were still descendants of the original possessors of the province, al- 
though the Dutch immigration had almost entirely ceased after the 
English conquest The invaders from New England and the mother 
country, besides holding their original settlements on Long Island, 
spread themselves over the colony, and, with a continually strength- 
ening minority, were here, as elsewhere, the ruling and dominant race. 
There was also a large and most excellent element of French Hugue- 
nots, gathered chiefly in the city of New York, and which, as early even 
as the year 1652, had become so numerous that the Consistory was 

» Population, Smyth, p. 894, 1776, 200,000 ; Brissot, p. 128, 1778, 148,000 ; 1786, 
219,000 : Burnaby, 1769, 100,000 ; 16,000 to 20,000 capable of bearing arms: Doc. 
relating to Col. History of New York, iv., 1698, 18,000 whites, 2000 blacks ; 1712, 
27,000; vi., Census by Clinton, 1746, 61,000 whites, 10,000 blacks; Doc. Histoir, 
i., Table for years from 1703 to 1771, when population given as 148,000 whites 
and 19,000 blacks ; for Board of Trade, 1766, 66,000 whites; blacks, ll,000--see 
Bancroft, iv., 127 and ff. ; New York Hist. Soc Coll., iv., 274, Smith's History, 
1762, 100,000. There was in the beginning of the century a superstition which 
interfered with obtaining a census, because it was believed to bring sickness; see 
Doc. relating to Col. History, iv., 1712. 


obliged to make special religious provision for them. Persecution 
brought also to the settlements of the Hudson the thrifty and indus- 
trious Palatines, and in the city were found a small number of Jews. 
But the foreign immigration, as a whole, was not important ; the bulk 
of it drifted away into Pennsylvania, and left New York to the Dutch 
and English.* The settlements of the people thus united began with 
the little towns on the western end of Long Island, and with the city 
of New York, the New Amsterdam of early days, and the villages of 
the neighborhood. Thence they followed the Hudson, with its pic- 
turesque beauty of mountain, cliff, and meadow, until Albany was 
reached, where they turned to the west, and were pushed out into 
the wilderness, along the beautiful valley of the Mohawk, and into the 
domains of the famous Six Nations. This brief and irregular line of 
towns, villages, and farms skirting the edge of the forests was all that 
then gave promise of the great State of the future. Indeed at that 
period the province was poorly inhabited, in proportion to its oppor- 
tunities and capacities, labor was dear and development slow.' 

The two great interests here, as in Pennsylvania, were agriculture 
and trade ; but in New York the latter was the ruling and control- 
ling interest, even if it did not actually engage the larger number of 
the people. The great staples were farm products, especially wheat, 
to which attention was chiefly given ; and the fur trade was also in 
New York of first importance. Albany was one of the centres of 
this traffic ; and a usual way for a young man to begin life was to 
venture to the west to deal in furs — an occupation which, owing to 
the presence of French competitors, was one of no slight danger, but 
which was at the same time extremely profitable. The successful ad- 
venturer, returning with his furs, would make up a cargo at Albany 
of skins and timber, float down the river to New York, and dispose 
of his investment at a great advance. The return cargo was light, 
consisting chiefly of rum, which was not only used for barter, but to 
make the Indians drunk when they met, and thus facilitate cheating. 

The statistics of trade in New York are so wild that it is out of 
the question to attempt an exact estimate. The imports and exports 
were probably worth nearly a million pounds, and employed, including 

1 American Lady, Mrs. Grant,!., 42, 200; il.,231; Smyth, ii., 878 ; Ealm,i.,246; 
Yirginia Hist Reg., ii., 108, 1685, Byrd*B Letters; Hist. Soe. Coll., iv., 274 ; Rutten- 
tor's History of Newburg ; Reed^s Amenia ; Mag. Amer. History, !., 90 ; Huguenot 
Family in Virginia, p. 297 ; Mandeville, History of Flushing ; Wood^s Long Island. 

* Hist Soc. Coll., iv., Smith's History, p. 274 and ft 


coasters and small river craft, about five handred vessels. Tbe Dotch 
spirit of enterprise in foreign trade was conspicuous in New York, and 
the products of the province were carried to the West Indies, to Lis- 
bon, England, and Madeira ; while even the little sloops from Albany 
made long voyages. It was one of these— of eighty tons burden — that 
in the year 1786 made the voyage to China successfully. There was 
also a great deal of smuggling ; smuggled tea was largely used, and an 
extensive illicit trade was kept up with the French possessions in the 
West Indicia. There were scarcely any manufactures. The thrifty 
Dutch appear to have made sufficient progress to have alarmed their 
English conquerors ; but the advance was lost in the eighteenth cen- 
tury ; and although there was a considerable domestic manufacture of 
coarse materials for home use, almost everything else was imported. 
Feeble attempts at encouragement were made by the Assembly, but 
they resulted in little. The iron industry was almost wholly neglect- 
ed ; there was some manufacture of glass, and felt hats were made, but 
neither so well nor so cheaply as in England ; and, in fact, the im- 
ports so predominated over the exports that it was often difficult to 
find a return cargo. The trade of New York, however, equalled, if it 
did not exceed, that of either Boston or Philadelphia, and the town 
was already a distributing point for the other colonies. Tradesmen 
and mechanics, especially among the Germans and Dutch, were more 
common than elsewhere ; and we hear of itinerant weavers who went 
from house to house to finish work. But industries, except the fre- 
quent grist and saw mills, built in the picturesque Dutch fashion, with 
wide-spread sails, could not attain any vigorous growth where land 
was so plenty and so cheap. Servants, imported especially to work 
at trades, betook themselves to farms as soon as they obtained their 
liberty ; and the great fertility of the soil made the farmers careless 
in their methods. Agriculture was low, as in the other colonies ; yet 
the province, as a whole, was flourishing and prosperous, and the active 
trade and energetic merchants brought much wealth to the country.^ 

* For trade and industry, see Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 297 ; American 
Lady, i., 77, 79, 87 ; Smyth, ii.,894 ; Brissot, p. 126 ; Ealm, i., 263 and fif. ; il, 240, 
267 ; Bumaby, p. 109 ; Pennsylvania Hist. Coll., i., Harems Journey ; Denton^s Ac- 
count of New York ; Hist. Soc. Coll., iv.. Smith, p. 274 ; Munsell^s Annals of Albany, 
i.,iv,; Doc. relating to Col. Hist, of New York, iv.,1708; v., 278; vi., Cosby and 
Hoore to Lords of Trade, Clinton's Census, 1744 ; Doc. History, i., 1720 and 1723 ; 
iv., 1737; Acts of Assembly, 1712, 1760; Rochefoucauld, ii., 233, 286; Historic 
Tales of the Olden Time, Watson, 1686. 


After many Ticissitndes, beginning with the commercial despotism 
of the Datch and the oppressive rule of James IL, the political sys- 
tem of New York had finally settled down to the common form of 
the royal provinces ; bat, owing to the events of the past, the gov- 
ernment was more corrupt, the administration more inefficient and ar- 
bitrary, and the power of the popular representatives feebler than any- 
where else. The Governor was appointed by the Cpown, had a salary 
of fifteen hundred pounds a year, and perquisites amounting to as 
much more, which made him the best-paid Crown officer 6n the con- 
tinent ; and his political power was, moreover, very great The Coun- 
cil of twelve members was appointed by him at pleasure, sat as an 
Upper House, and had a negative on legislation. The Assembly, con- 
vened by the Governor, consisted of twenty-seven membera elected by 
the freeholders of the counties, with three from the Rensselaer, Liv- 
ingston, and Courtland Manors respectively. Before darkens time the 
duration of the Assembly was indefinite ; but it was then fixed at three 
years, and, later, at seven, on the English model. The Assembly was 
ill-managed, and greatly under the influence of the Governor, who gave 
patents for lands to his supporters at low quit-rents ; thus keeping 
down small holders, and creating, to his own advantage, a class who 
fomented the dissensions between the English and Dutch. The whole 
government, says William Smith, the historian and judge, who had had 
a full experience in the matter, was nothing more than that of a small 

New York was by no means in so good a condition financially as 
the other colonies; having not only the usual depreciated currency, 
and a debt of three hundred thousand pounds, incurred chiefly in the 
French war, but suffering also from burdensome taxation as compared 
with that of the other provinces. Taxes were raised by duties on ne- 
groes and other imported articles, and by direct levies on real and per- 
sonal estate ; and as their amount was considerable, this clumsy meth- 
od was unjust and oppressive. Such a condition of affairs was due 
not only to an ill-managed, expensive, and sometimes corrupt govern- 
ment, but to the exposed situation of the colony, which made the fron- 
tiers the scene of battle in every war, and necessitated constant expen- 
ditures for defence. In the early days each man contributed to stock- 
ade the towns ; outlying houses were built to resist attacks, the town 
gates were shut at night, and every citizen took part in watch duty 

^ Burnaby, p. Ill ; Hist Coll, iv., Smith's History, p. 274 and ff. 


and military service ; for the Dutch West India Company had always 
kept troops at New York, and the English followed their example. 
At the time of the French war severe and elaborate militia laws were 
passed, requiring the enlistment of every able-bodied man between six- 
teen and sixty, and exacting a penalty, in case of failure to obey, of 
forty shillings for every three months. At the close of the French 
war the militia was computed to amount to over fifteen thonsand 
men, and there were twenty -six hundred regular provincial troops; 
but although all this was costly enough, the army never rose to the 
dignity of a profession/ 

The bench and bar both suffered from the character of the govern- 
ment and the power of the governors, although they were beginning 
to improve at the time of the Revolution. The arrangement was that 
familiar in the other colonies. The lowest courts were those of the 
justices competent to try cases under five pounds, and appointed by 
the Governor, who gave these places to political favorites, generally 
men of no character, and some of whom could not even read or write. 
Above these were the courts of sessions and common pleas, composed 
of three judges, who sat twice a year, and were appointed by the Gov- 
ernor during his pleasure. The supreme court of the province con- 
sisted of a chief-justice and two associate justices, who sat four times 
a year, and were appointed by the Governor, but held during good 
behavior. They had jurisdiction as king's bench and common pleas, 
and claimed that of equity and the exchequer ; but these last were dis- 
continued on account of the general opposition. There was a vice- 
admiralty court, with one judge, also appointed by the Governor. Over 
three hundred pounds, an appeal lay from the supreme court to the 
Governor and Council, and equity was with the Governor as chancellor, 
but this court was so much disliked that its business was very small. 
Probate carried on by delegates was one of the Governor's many per- 
quisites, and its administration in this way was exceedingly unpopu- 
lar. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the condition of both 
bench and bar was very b/id. The chief-justice was a good soldier, but 
no jurist ; and the lawyers so called were often of scandalous char- 
acter. " One of them," says a contemporary, " was a dancing-master ; 
another, a glover by trade ; a third, which is Mr. Jamison, was con- 

1 Taxation and Militia, MunselPs Annals of Albany, i. ; Watson, Historic Talcs 
of the Olden Times; Acts of Assembly, 1765, 1766, 1761 ; Burnaby, pp. 108, 109, 


demned in Scotland for burning the Bible and blasphemy ;" and near- 
ly all were violent dcmagognes. Matters improved somewhat as time 
went on ; but at the period of the Revolution, although three years at 
college or seven years in an office were required, the Governor licensed 
everybody, and there were many practitioners, therefore, who pos- 
sessed neither character nor learning. The profession, of course, in an 
active business community was both popular and profitable, and the 
fees were high, so that it attracted the best as well as the worst ele- 
ments. The trouble lay in the non-enforcement of the law, and in 
the bad government which admitted unfit men as freely as trained law- 
yers of good standing.* 

Until after the French war the profession of medicine was worse 
than that of law, and practised almost exclusively by a much lower 
class. The only attempt to regulate it was a clause in the Duke's 
Laws of the year 1665, to prevent violence on the part of doctora to- 
ward patients. Quacks abounded ; there was no protection from mal- 
practice, and any one that saw fit set up as a physician, surgeon, or 
apothecary, to prey on the ills of ])is fellows, which, thanks to the gen- 
eral good health, were neither many nor frequent In the year 1763, 
there were in the town of New York alone forty of these unlicensed 
practitioners. Just before that time the first gleam of improvement 
was perceptible in an attempt to give instniction from dissection, 
then came the demand for army surgeons; and in the year 1760 
the Assembly passed an act to prevent bad physicians, and ordered 
that no one should practise without a certificate from three members 
of the Council and the supreme court. This was a step in the right 
direction. Seven years later a medical school was founded in connec- 
tion with the college, and two years after that a medical society was 
established, and the profession began to assume a suitable position, 
and attract men of ability and character.' 

The third and last of the' learned professions, that of divinity, stood 
much higher than either law or medicine. The province was estab- 
lished by members of the Dutch-Li^theran and Dutch-Reformed Church- 
es, and by English Independents and Presbyterians ; and these remained 
always the leading, although not the ruling, sects. Both the Dutch and 

^ For full accounts of bench and bar, see Hist. Coll., iv., Smith's History, p. 274 
and £f. ; Doc. relating to Col. Hist., iv., vi., 1767 ; compare also Brissot, p. 180; and 
Zenger*s trial for Hamilton's speech, and state of lav and lawyers. 

' Brissot, p. ISO ; Hist. Coll., iv.. Smith's History, p. 274 and fif. ; Acts of Assem- 
bly, 1760 ; Wickes, History of Medicine in New Jersey, pp. 87, 52. 


Eoglish dissenting clergy were men of good character, and for a long 
period were the only learned class in the colony. In the Long Island 
towns the same system and the same forms prevailed as in New Eng- 
land. Down to the eighteenth century the people were summoned to 
church by beat of drum, and constables searched the village, and espe- 
cially the taverns, for profaners of the Sabbath and truants from di- 
vine service, and punished them with fines and the lash. Amusements 
were discountenanced, and Puritan strictness reigned. The same the- 
ory prevailed in the Dutch congregations, but was much less rigidly 
carried out The clergy, with a few exceptions, were zealous and up- 
right men ; and the pastor was always the chief personage in the lit- 
tle Dutch villages. They were generally jolly companions and free 
livers, and not infrequently rough in their dealings; but they preach- 
ed good morals to their congregations with perfect directness, and not 
a little personality. One parishioner, severely reprimanded in the ser- 
mon, ventured to expostulate in church, and the pastor replied, ^* Yon, 
Philip, if you can preach gospel better than I, come up here and try." 
Church manners, indeed, among the Dutch, do not seem to have been 
of the best In the little church in Albany, with its pyramidal belfry, 
the men sat with their high-crowned hats and muffs on, out of respect 
to the climate. The deacons went about during the sermon with a 
little black bag and bell to take up contributions, but were obliged to 
resort to plates, for the shrewd traders of the congregation, when their 
gift could not be seen, contented themselves with dropping anything 
that had a chinking sound into the bag. The tendency to strict ob- 
servances in the Reformed churches is indicated by a proclamation 
forbidding sports on Sh rove-Tuesday ; but it is evident that the Dutch 
were too stolid and good-natured to indulge in any great severity in 
this respect 

The general policy under the Dutch rule was one of toleration, to 
which the luckless Quakers formed the only exception. The Quak- 
ers who arrived in New York in the year 1657, and preached in the 
streets, were at once arrested, and driven from the colony ; and when 
at a later time they reappeared in Long Island, the Dutch impris- 
oned and maltreated them, closed their conventicles, chained them to 
wheelbarrows, punished those persons married in the Quaker fashion 
for adultery, and had them beaten with tarred ropes until they faint- 
ed, while the English whipped them through the streets for sedi- 
tion. This persecution was as ineffective as it was exceptional. There 
were, writes Colonel Byrd, of Virginia, as many sects in New York as 


in Amaterdam, and all tolerated. When tbe EDglish sQpremacy was 
aasuredf all this was changed. In the year 1692 an act was passed 
to maintain Protestant ministers in each town and county, and ves- 
tries and church-wardens were established to lay rates, and call cler- 
gymen to oflSciate. Thus the English Church began its career, and, 
ill-advised as its policy was in roost of the colonies, it was peculiarly 
foolish and unwise in New York. They continued the persecution 
of the Quakers with fine, imprisonment, and harsh treatment in the, 
courts, and extended this intolerance to the dissenters of other sects. 
This policy reached its height under Cornbury, who forced the Es- 
tablished Church upon English and Dutch alike, taxed all for its 
support, seized on the churches, glebes, and parsonages of the other 
sects, enforced. the Test Act, and carried matters everywhere with a 
high hand. Makemie, the famous Vii^inian minister, was arrested 
for preaching and thrown into . prison, but was acquitted by the 
jury. A reaction ensued, and favor was shown to the dissenters by 
Hunter and others, although Combury's policy remained substantial- 
ly the policy of the province. Persecution, it is true, was abandon- 
ed ; but taxes were laid for the English Church, to which all fa- 
vors of government were given, and to which charters, refused to 
other sects, were freely granted. This harah and narrow policy 
could have but one result The English Church, supported by gov- 
emmentr favor, attracted a certain number of worshippers, and was 
wealthy and influential ; but yet before the Revolution it comprised 
only about a fifteenth of the population, and every sort of dissent, 
besides the predominant Dutch Reformed and English Presbyterian 
Churches, grew and flourished. ** Freethinking," wrote Samuel John- 
son, the New England convert, to the Archbishop of Canterbury — 
''freethinking spreads as fast as the Church." The clever young 
men of the day set up a journal, called the Independent Reflector, 
supported by William Smith, educated at that "nursery of sedition, 
Yale College," William Livingston, John Morin Scott, and others, who 
vigorously opposed the Establishment. As late as the year 1773 pe- 
titions came up from the Long Island towns against taxation for the 
Church ; and " No Bishops " was a favorite and constant election cry. 
The Church was indeed a principal grievance against the mother coun- 
try, and did more in New York than anything else to cool the loyalty 
and alienate the feelings of the inhabitants. Politics diminished the 
affection of the people for the Church, while their respect was low- 
ered by the " laudable " lotteries for church building, and by the free- 


living of divines, like Dr. Cooper, who left ^x^ pounds^ worth of books 
in his library, and one hundred and fifty pounds' worth of wine in his 

There was one sect which met with no raercy at the hands of 
either churchman or dissenter. The power of France — close on the 
borders of New York, with its wide-spreading net-work of Jesuit influ- 
ence and political intrigue, always ready, and at short intervals letting 
hordes of savages loose upon the settlements— combined with the nat- 
ural Protestant prejudices to raise a spirit of dread and fierce hatred 
toward the Roman Catholics. In the year 1700 an act was passed 
against Jesuits and Popish priests, " because they labored to destroy 
and seduce the Indians ;" and all such priests were, after a certain time, 
if they escaped death, to be imprisoned for life. The spirit which 
produced this law — a wholly natural one under the circumstances — 
never seems to have died out, and became the germ of one of the 
most terrible incidents which occurred in the history of the American 
colonies. In the year 1741 public feeling was aroused against Spain, 
and consequently against Rome. In every slave -holding province 
there is a normal suspicion and dread of the servile class ; for the 
sense of awful wrong inflicted can never be separated from the lurk- 
ing fear that retribution is at hand. These feelings were now com- 
bined ; and several fires, which strongly suggested premeditation, led 
to the discovery of the so-called negro plot. Into its details^ it is not 
necessary to enter. A wretched and ignorant woman, employed in 
a public -house of the lowest kind where negroes resorted, actuated 
probably by revenge, denounced her landloi*d, his wife and maid, and 
one Ury, a Roman Catholic, besides some slaves, as concerned in a 
plot to burn the city. In the excited state of the public feeling, much 
less than this would have created a panic ; as it was, the whole town 

* For church and clergy in New York, see Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 297 ; 
American Lady, i., 42, 294 ; ii., 23 ; Anderson^s Hist, of CoL Church, ii., 439 ; Ealm, 
i., 260; Bumaby, p. 107; Virginia Hist. Reg., Byrd's Letters, p. 108 ; Foote, Sketch, 
es of Virginia, i., 63 ; Hist. Coll., iv.. Smith's History, p. 274 ; iii., N. S., 1774 ; Man- 
deville. History of Flushing ; Life and Travels of Samuel Bownas ; Onderdonk^s 
Hempstead; Ruttenber's Newburg; Hiker's Newtown; MunselPs Annals of Alba- 
ny, i., iii. ; Stiles, History of Brooklyn ; Doc. relating to Col. Hist, iii., iv., vl. ; His- 
toric Tales of Olden Time; Doc. History, vf. ; Acts of Assembly, 1692, 1696, 1714, 
1761; Wood's Long Island; Thompson's Long Island; Furman's Antiquities of 
Long Island ; Long Island Hist. Coll., !., Labadists' Journal ; Tyler's American Lit> 
erature; Massachusetts Hist Coll, L, 2, 160; Jones's Hist of New York in the 


went mad. On tbe roost insafficient evidence— chiefly that of igno- 
rant wretches half dead with fear — a perfect slaughter ensued. One 
hundred and fifty-four negroes and twenty whites were arrested and 
committed to jail. Four whites were hanged, seventy negroes trans- 
ported, eighteen hung, and thirteen burnt at the stake. Thirty-five 
lives in all were sacrificed, and a large proportion suffered the most 
cruel form of death. The dominant motive was the dread of the Pa- 
pists and Spaniards ; for even at the most excited moment no one 
supposed that the miserable blacks were aught but tools. Oglethorpe 
wrote from Georgia that Spanish priests were to be introduced into 
families as physicians and dancing-masters, who would burn every town 
in America; and at a later time Governor Clarke wrote that he was 
convinced it was Popery, and it was generally believed that Spain was 
preparing to send troops to support the conspiracy. The Roman Cath- 
olics, at no time more than a handful of the population, were general- 
ly arrested, and Catholic priests were in danger of their lives. These 
wild stories were firmly believed, and only too thoroughly acted on. 
The negro plot belongs to the same class of popular madness as the 
Salem witchcraft and the Popish plot of the time of Charles II. Such 
outbursts seem to have all the qualities of an epidemic disease, like 
cholera or yellow-fever, except that they arc moral and mental, instead 
of physical. The Salem witchcraft has been used for generations to 
brand with the stain of bloody deeds the people of New England. 
It occurred at the close of the seventeenth century ; it appealed to a 
strong and generally accepted superstition ; it was concerned with su- 
pernatural agencies, was recognized by law, and the best evidence at- 
tainable under the circumstances was introduced. The New York 
negro plot happened in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was 
concerned with a crime perfectly within the range of ordinary tests 
and common evidence. Tbe accused were little more than savages, 
as incapable of combination as children. In Massachusetts nineteen 
persons were hanged, and one, refusing to plead, pressed to death. In 
New York, half a century later, twenty-two persons were hanged, and 
thirteen burnt at the stake. This comparison is worthless if it shows 
merely that the people of New York were no better than those of Mas- 
sachusetts. What it does prove is that all communities are liable to 
mental disease, which, under favorable circumstances, becomes a wild 
panic and convulsion, and leads to indiscriminate bloodshed. Such 
events are among the miseries incident to humanity under certain 
conditions, and as such should be recorded by history ; but there iQ 



Dothing more shallow or contemptible than to use them as a reproach 
and to affix a stigma. They are not crimes; they are misfortunes, 
and only by regarding them in this way can their lessons be learned/ 
The unhappy race that chiefly suffered in this outbreak was not in 
New York an important element of the population, although negroes 
were more numerous than would naturally be supposed when the cli- 
mate and productions of the province are considered. Under the 
Dutch, and especially at the beginning of the eighteenth century, 
large cargoes of slaves, despite the risks from pirates, were brought 
into the province. The negroes thus became very numerous, and were 
so riotous that Combnry issued a proclamation ordering every one to 
fire upon them if they did not obey. A few years later there was a 
savage outbreak, with fire and riot, in which several whites were killed, 
and of twenty-seven negroes seized and condemned, twenty-one were 
executed. Some were burned, some hanged ; one was broken on the 
wheel, and one hung alive in chains. The lingering recollection of this 
riot was a principal element in the causes which led to the negro plot 
of 1741, which had no real existence, and produced so much worse re- 
sults. The numbers and disposition of the negroes caused objections 
to them as servants, efforts to replace them with whites, and attempts 
to check their impoilation. The result was that at the period of the 
Revolution they did not comprise more than a sixth of the popula- 
tion. They were employed almost exclusively as domestic .servants, 
and only very rarely as field hands ; and almost every family of any 
consequence had some of them in their household. The laws in re- 
gai-d to them were on the Virginia model, but much less severe. They 
could be punished by their masters at a discretion not extending to life 
or limb ; and the same limitation was placed on the power of the jus- 
tices before whom they were brought for striking a white person. 
They could not be witnesses except against each other in certain 
specified cases, were usually handed over to a common whipper for 
punishment, and for ordinary criminal offences they were whipped 
where a white person was fined. For felonies they were condemned 
to death in such form as the enormity of the crime warranted ; and, 
instead of being hung in all cases, were not infrequently burned at 
the stake. The severest laws were with reference to acts which might 

> Horsnianden^s Negro Plot ; Historic Tales of the Olden Time, Watson ; Acts of 
Assembly, 1700; Valentine's History of New York, Negro Plot; Stone, Life o€ 
Johnson, ditto ; Poc relating to Col. History of New York, ditto, vi., 1741. 


lead to a general rising ; and here the dread of the community found 
fnll expression. If more than three slaves met together thej were 
to receive forty lashes ; and any slave out after nightfall was liable to 
be declared a rogue and runaway, and treated accordingly. Flight to 
Canada, while in possession of the French, was expiated by death ; 
and heavy penalties were laid on all who harbored or received them. 
They were in every -day practice well and kindly treated, and prop- 
erly clothed and fed. They formed part of the family, and it was 
customary to give, with some ceremony, to each child of the mas- 
ter a negro child of the same ago as a servant. Their religious 
and secular education was but little attended to, although even here 
there was a marked difference from the southern colonies. The As- 
sembly passed an act to encourage their baptism, which, however, ef- 
fected no change in their status ; and efforts were made by charitable 
societies in England to provide schools for the blacks, where they 
might learn to read and sew. The physical prejudice was much 
stronger, both as to negroes and Indians, than in the south, and there 
was very little mixture of race ; but, on the whole, slavery in New 
York was as mild as it could well be made. There was very little 
hard usage, and bad slaves, instead of being punished on the spot, 
were usually sold at the coffee-houses for the West Indian market. 
There were also in New York, as ill the other colonies, indented ser- 
vants; but they do not appear to have been very important, except 
from their bad character as convicts, whose importation was encour- 
aged by both Dutch and English rulers, and strenuously resisted by 
the colonists.* 

From the negroes, the free blacks, peculiarly numerous here on 
account of those formerly belonging to the Dutch West India Com- 
pany, from transported convicts, and from the dregs of a trading and 
seafaring community, the criminal classes in New York were recruit- 
ed. But crime was rare, and robbery, murder, and suicide — the in- 
dex of misery — were alike uncommon. Life and limb and property 

1 Slaves and servants, American Lady, i., 51, 58, ]7l, 294, 304 ; Kalm, ii., 267 ; 
Hist. Coll., iy., Smith, p. 274 and ff. ; Ibid., iii., N. S., Extracts from Newspapers ; 
Biker's History of Newtown ; MunselPs Annals of Albany, L, 1691 ; iv., 1702 ; x., 
1788, 1787 ; Stiles, History of Brooklyn, i. ; De Voe's Markets of New York ; Doc, 
relating to Col. History, iv., v. ; Hist. Tales o^lden Time, Watson ; Acts of Assem. 
bly, 1702, 1705, 1706, 1709, 1714, 1753 ; Furman's Antiquities of Long Island ; Val. 
entine*8 History of New York ; Thompson's History of Long Island ; Rochefoucauld, 
i., 376 ; ii., 288, 449 ; Hist. Ck>ll. of Long Island, L, Labadists' JoumaL 


were safe throngfaout the province, where every one had too good an 
opportunity for honest success to make crime either tempting or 
profitable. In early tiroes the colony suffered from pirates, and to a 
much greater d^ree than elsewhere on account of the characteristic 
corruption of the government. Pirates harbored in the little Long 
Island ports, and bought immunity from Governor Fletcher, at whose 
house the Jacobite Club met, by gifts of ships and presents to his 
wife and daughter. Protections were openly sold in New York, and 
the gain was so great from this nefarious traffic that Lord Bellomont, 
in suppressing it, encountered a general resistance and much unpopu- 
larity ; and his success against the pirates, it was generally said, cost 
the province one hundred thousand pounds a year. The abolition of 
piracy was succeeded by much smuggling and illicit trade; and the 
opposition in New York to the English navigation laws was exception- 
ally bitter. Crime in general was dealt with in the usual rough and 
ready fashion. There were many capital crimes expiated at the stake 
and the gallows, and the lash and the pillory were the favorite penal- 
ties for lesser offences ; while in the Long Island towns the odd New 
England customs prevailed. Criminals were there obliged to stand in 
the market-place, or sit in the stocks on court day, with placards on 
their breasts, or bridles in their mouths and rods under their arms — 
a spectacle and warning to the crowd. A specific case brings up be- 
fore us, better than any general statement^ a picture of the time when 
the stocks, the pillory, and the whipping-post were in vogue, and when 
criminals were not looked upon as an oppressed class. In the year 
1756 two women, for grand larceny, were carted down Broadway and 
Maiden Lane to the whipping-post, where they each received thirty- 
nine lashes. They were then sent to jail for a week, and, after their 
liberation, banished from the city. Crowds flocked to see such sights, 
and the attendance was especially numerous at an execution, as at 
Poughkeepsie, before the Revolution, where a white man and a negro 
were both burned at the stake for incendiarism,' 
There was probably even less pauperism than crime, and such 

» Crime, Hist. Coll., iv., Smith, p. 274 and ff. ; Ibid., iii., N. S., Extracts from 
Newspapers ; MandeTille, Hist, of Flushing ; Furman^s Brooklyn ; Munsell, Annals, 
iv., 1701 ; X., 1787; Stiles, Hist of Brooklyn, ii. ; De Voe's Markets of New York ; 
Moulton's New York 170 years ago ; Doc. relating to Col. Hist., iv., 169S, Bellomont 
to Lords of Trade ; Hist Tales of Olden Time, Watson ; Acts of Assembly, 1708 ; 
Smith's Hist, of Dutchess County ; Bolton's Westchester, i., 436, Ballad of Captain 


as existed was dealt with, so far as any one concerned themselves 
about it at all, in tlie New England fashion. An act of Assembly, 
in the year 1691, ordered the towns to make provision for the poor, 
and obliged all persons without visible means of support to give sure- 
ty that they would not come on the parish. In the towns paupers 
were sold at anction for terms of years, and their children were sold 
as apprentices. A characteristic example of the methods in vogue 
occurs in the records of Brooklyn, where it is ordered that ''Mad 
James" be kept by Kings County generally, and that the deacons 
settle the proportions of the towns for the expense.' The colonists, 
it must be remembered, were in these matters quite as advanced as 
the rest of the world, and they had an important advantage over Eu* 
rope, in the fact that neither crime nor pauperism were troublesome 
or pressing questions. 

It is a matter of surprise, when the state of popular education in 
the colonies generally is considered, that there should have been com- 
paratively little crime or pauperism in any of them. In this matter 
of education New York was probably as well provided as any of the 
middle provinces, and much better than those of the south ; and yet 
education was neither widely diffused nor of good quality. Under the 
Dutch, schools of fair character, sufficiently good to attract pupils from 
Virginia aod the south, were established at a very early period, and sup- 
ported in large measure by government The instruction was simple, 
and the school-master in New Amsterdam was clerk, chorister, and 
visitor of the sick ; in the little villages, sexton and chorister ; and al- 
ways a personage of local importance. Under the English education 
seems to have fallen off. The Assembly did nothing except to pass 
an act for the establishment of grammar-schools in the town of New 
York ; and at a much later date appropriate the proceeds of divers 
lotteries to the use and benefit of the college. The best schools — car- 
ried on generally for nipe months in the year by itinerant masters, 
who were boarded among the inhabitants and paid by fees — were to 
be found in the Long Island towns, where they had been founded and 
maintained by the English settlers, and in New York and its imme- 
diate neighborhood. There, about the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, King's College was established through the exertions of Samuel 
Johnson, and in connection with the Episcopal interest The college 
gave a good course of instruction in the higher branches, and tuition 

> Stiles, Hist, of Brooklyn, i. ; Acts of Assembly, 1691 ; Eager's Hist of Orange. 


fees amounted to only twenty-five shillings a qaarter; bat it did not 
grow rapidly ; and at the commencement held in Trinity Church in 
1773, and attended by a fashionable audience, only five students re- 
ceived degrees. One great obstacle in the way of the college was its 
establishment on a narrow Episcopal basis, which aroused the hostility 
of the dissenters, who opposed the charter, and subsequently attacked 
the college and its administration. A similar difficulty, indeed, attend- 
ed the schools. The Dutch stubbornly opposed an English education, 
although at the cost of ignorance ; and as late even as 1755 the Dutch 
Reformed Church imported a master from Holland, who, however, fail- 
ed, and was obliged to add English branches. Education on the whole, 
and throughout the province, was bad and insufficient, and there was 
a lamentable amount of ignorance among the poor and in the interior. 
The sons of rich men, after such an education as the province afford- 
ed, and which out of the city of New York consisted of field sports 
rather than books, were usually sent either to the New England col- 
leges, to Princeton, or to an English university ; while the daughters 
of the household remained at home, read little, and studied less.' 

In another point closely connected with education the conflict of 
races peculiar to New York was strongly manifested. The English 
speech made its way slowly but surely from the time of the seizure 
of New Netherlands. The trading habits of the Dutch drew men of 
all nations to the colony, so that even in the seventeenth century six- 
teen languages were said to be spoken in the province ; but one and 
all gave way before the English. The Dutch adhered closely to their 
mother tongue, and in the inland towns and villages clung to their 
preachers and school -masters; but before the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century the change had begun, and the young people not only 
spoke English, but went to the English churches, and wished to be 
considered Englishmen. The result of this mixture of speech among 
the people generally was great corruption of language everywhere. 

» American I^ady, i., 42, 67 ; Bumaby, p. 106 ; Hist Soc. Coll., iv., Smith, 274 
and ff. ; Ibid., iii., N. S., Extracts from Newspapers ; Stone^s Life of Sir William 
Johnson ; Onderdonk's Hempstead ; Ibid., Jamaica ; Ruttenber*8 History of New- 
burgh ; Riker^s History of Newtown ; Furman's History of Brooklyn ; Barnard's 
Life of S. Van Rensselaer ; Stiles, i., 1666, and iii. ; Watson, Historic Tales of the 
Olden Time; Doc. relating to Col. History, vi., 1768; Doc. History; Acts of As- 
sembly, 1702, 1766 ; Furman^s Antiquities of Long Island ; Long Island Hist. Soc. 
Coll., i., Journal of Labadista ; Bolton's History of Westchester ; Tyler's American 
literature ; Massachusetts Hist. Soc. Coll., 1, 2, 160. 


English prevailed ; bat in some counties there were so many Dutch 
that iti^was difiScnlt to find jurors who understood the language of the 
government. The foreign tongues, however, were doomed, and the 
corrupt English of the years preceding the Revolution was a sure sign 
of their ultimate disappearance.* 

The great mass of the people, as has already been said, were either 
farmers or traders, and most of these were of the middle class of 
small landholders and shopkeepers. But, besides the social distinc- 
tions caused by wealth, there existed in New York an upper class, 
stronger and better defined than in any northern province. Slavery 
gave, of course, as in all the colonies, an aristocratic cast to the whole 
social and political system ; but there was also an aristocracy quite 
different from anything in Pennsylvania or New England, and closely 
allied to the ruling class in Virginia. They did not have the great 
element of support afforded by a pure slave system, but they had the 
equally important foundation of great landed estates, and were invest- 
ed with prerogatives of practical value unknown to the south. This 
class was composed almost entirely of followers of the system, or of 
the actual descendants of the great Dutch proprietors, who had re- 
ceived when the colony was founded land grants of almost unlimit- 
ed extent from the West India Company ; and they formed a very 
striking and important element in the community, both socially and 
politically. The most famous of these great estates was that of the 
Van Rensselaers, comprising all the territory in the neighborhood of 
Albany, peopled by farmers, and containing the thriving village of 
Rensselaerswyck. This manor, and those of the Cortlands and Liv- 
ingstons, were each entitled to a representative in the Assembly. Be- 
sides these thus endowed with political privileges, there was the hard- 
ly less celebrated and extensive Fhilipse manor; and many leading 
families, principally of Dutch origin — such as the Schuylers and Cuy- 
lers — owned or rented great tracts of land which they leased out to 
small farmers. The proprietor of a manor was invested with many 
feudal privileges, and held a position more akin to that of the Old- 
World nobility than any one else in the American colonics. 

The Philipse manor-house at Yonkers was a large stone building, 
with a high-pitched roof surmounted by a balustrade, and an inte- 
rior at once luxurious and spacious. The walls were wainscoted, the 

> Ealm, i., 285, 269 ; ii., 261 ; Tjler*s Amer. Literature ; Brodhead, i., t48 ; ii., 
287 ; Rochefoucauld, u., 283, 447. 


ceilings decorated with arabesques, tbe cbimney-picces of canred mar- 
ble, and the great open firepbioes panelled with Datcb tiles ^ wbile 
out-doors and near the bouse was a handsome formal garden, witii 
walks edged with box, where the ladies of the family diverted them* 
selves by gardening. On tbis estate there were two rent-days — one 
at Pbilipsbnrgh and one at Sleepy Hollow — and on these occasions 
the tenants, after paying their rent in money and kind, gathered at 
the manor-house and were feasted by tbe landlord, who maintained 
thirty white and twenty colored servants in his household. In the 
neighboring village tbe lord of the manor held, once a year, courtr 
leet and court-baron, and meted out justice, sometimes in early days, 
extending even to capital punishment Tbe other manors with their 
privileges, and in a more general way all tbe great landed estates, re- 
sembled more or less closely that of the Pbilipses. All had lax|;e, 
well-built houses of brick or stone, and were handsomely decorated 
and fitted up within-doors. They all had, too, their retinues of serv- 
ants, great bams, abundance of horses and cattle, lai^, old-fashioned 
gardens, and great orchards sweeping away from tbe house ; and in 
all reigned hospitality and good cheer. Stained glass, bearing their 
arms, adorned the little church in Albany, and everywhere ihe sense 
of a strong and acknowledged aristocracy was felt. But the New York 
manors and estates bad their bad as well as their good side. Lord 
Bellomont, as early as the year 1698, wrote to tbe Lords of Trade that 
the province was not popular, because people would not come as bare 
tenants of tbe large proprietor, when they could have land in fee-sim- 
ple in New Jersey or Pennsylvania for the asking; and there can be 
no doubt that tbe great estates and land to be held, even for as long 
a time as " while water ran and grass grew," but still on the payment 
of rent, did not attract settlers. The relations, too, between landlord 
and tenants became more and more unpleasant There was wrong on 
both sides, and complaints of violence and extortion. Just before tbe 
Revolution riots broke out on some of the manors ; tbe landlords were 
attacked, tbe sheriff fired on, and finally the rising had to be suppress- 
ed by troops. In tbe war for Independence tbe great Philipse manor 
was forfeited, and the privileges of the others were swept away. The 
great land-owners, although they resided for tbe most part in New 
York, and only in summer on their estates, were fully alive to the ad- 
vantages of their position, and took care to maintain it The manor 
of the Rensselaers descended without a will to the eldest son ; and in 
other cases tbe Dutch habit of division among the children was essen- 


tially modified. Small portions were given to the daughters, and the 
yonng^r sons each received a larger and equal share, while to the eld- 
est went not only the lion's share of the property but the paternal and 
family homestead ; and in this way the families were kept together and 
strengthened by what was practically primogeniture. The influence of 
these great families in the counties and outside of the town of New 
York was immense. The Schnylers and Van Rensselacrs were inter- 
married and irresistible, the Duke of Rochefoucauld tells us ; and he 
adds that the former furnished the brains, and the latter the money. 
The power of some of these great families was marked out for de- 
struction in the northern atmosphere, and in the progress of American 
democracy ; but it survived and was still vigorous, even after the nine- 
teenth century had fairly begun.' 

The manors were the most striking feature in the country life of 
New York, and yet formed but a small part of it From the mouth 
of the Hudson to Albany, and far up the Mohawk Valley, were scat- 
tered the settlements of the Dutch, who were the prevailing race among 
the farmers. In the southern region they were more mixed with other 
races, and are said to have been of a character superior to those in 
the northern and western settlements, where in the early days the con- 
victs and vagabonds sent out by the government had found a rest- 
ing-place; but everywhere, with tenacious and stolid conservatism, 
they adhered to the manners and habits of their nation. In the ear- 
ly days they did all in their power to keep off their restless English 
neighbors, who could only procure bad titles to land, but who, never- 
theless, pushed on, came in companies, got patents from the Govern- 
ors, and built up towns on Long Island and in the neighborhood of 
New York. After the conquest the Dutch clung still closer to their 
land, refused to sell to the English, kept their large estates, and obliged 
the intruders to remain in the southern part of the province, and en- 
gage in trade rather than agriculture.' This vigorous prejudice and 

1 Haguenot Family in Virginia, p. 296 ; Amer. Lady, i., 13, 41, 42, 92, 148, 166, 
178 ; ii., 292 ; Hist. Coll, iv., Smith, Hist, p. 2T4 and ff. ; Woolley's Two Tears' Jour- 
nal in Nevr York ; Barber's Hist. Coll. ; Mandeville, Hist, of Flushing Old Wills ; 
Bamard^s S.yan Rensselaer ; Munsell's Annals, i. ; Doc. relating to Col Hist., 1698 ; 
Furman's Antiquities of Long Island, Livingston House ; Bolton's Hist, of West- 
chester, il, Philipsc Manor ; Smith's Hist, of Dutchess County ; Rochefoucauld, L, 
869, 376. 

* Dutch hostility and conservatism, see Journal of Claude Blanchard, p. 115; 
Ealm, 1, 272; il, 264 ; Pennsylvania Hist. Coll, 1, 868 ; Denton's Description, 1670. 


strong spirit of exclusiveness gave to the country life of New York 
along the Hudson and Mohawk an almost pure Dutch cast. In the 
interior villages the utmost simplicity prevailed, and the drowsy life 
of the little hamlets, where almost every one was a fanner, with here 
and there a few mechanics, flowed on in peaceful uneventf ulness. The 
farm buildings were usually near the rivers and on the hill-sides, sur- 
rounded with gardens and orchards. The houses were generally of 
wood, sometimes of wood filled in with yellow Holland brick, with 
an overhanging second story, and the interiors were neat and com- 
fortable, with low rooms — the heavy beams showing overhead — ^and 
great fireplaces lined with pictured tiles. The Dutch used no car- 
pets before the Revolution, except a dnigget beneath the table on 
grand occasions, preferring the traditional scrubbed and sanded floor. 
The furniture was plain and solid, from the great Holland beds to 
the sideboai-ds and cupboards, filled with wine, and glittering with 
glasses ranged round a rack bearing a generous supply of pipes. 
The table was excellent and plentiful, and good living was the rule 
upon the farms. Wood and pewter were ordinarily used until the 
middle of the eighteenth century, when the china hitherto kept for 
company began to come into daily use. Both men and women were 
comfortably dressed in homespun, and knew little of the imported 
fashions of the towns. These farmers, as a class, were intent on gain, 
slow of mind and body, and usually pretty ignorant They had their 
comfortable superstitions of a mild character, and believed in ghosts, 
witchcraft, and witches, who in the early days were now and then 
brought to trial and found guilty ; but they were also sober, indus- 
trious, thrifty, and prosperous. To the southward, and especially on 
Long Island, the English clement was more marked ; and the towns 
established there, and for years at war with Stuyvesant and his pred- 
ecessors, maintained themselves as independent autonomies with the 
paternal New England form of municipal government, and much 
strife and litigation among themselves, until the advent of English 
rulers, when they wci'e swept in with the rest of the towns, and lost 
their separate standing. The condition of the farmers of all races, 
however, did not vary much. They were, as a class, remarkably well 
off, the only drawback being the monotony and narrowness of their 
lives. They saw little of each other except when harvest or wood- 
cutting called for mutual assistance; and the only amusements were 
an occasional picnic in the woods, a corn-husking, or a spinning-bee, 
and in winter skating and coasting ; while in the south and on Long 


Island there were the additional entertainments of tavern parties, tur- 
tle feasts, and weekly bull -baitings, with an occasional horse -race. 
And so they lived on among the peaceful hills of the Hudson, sleepy 
and contented and comfortable, marking the passage of time with 
hour-glasses instead of clocks ; and on Long Island in like fashion, 
but with a little more activity. They were simple and unaffected, 
bringing up their sons to trades, and their daughters to household 
arts, until after the Revolution, when the untiring Yankees poured 
in from New England in ever-increasing numbers, and proceeded to 
develop the country and obliterate the slumberous and picturesque 
society of the little Dutch villages, over which an enduring halo 
has been cast by the genius of Washington Irving.^ There was, 
in truth, nothing from without to disturb them. Men rode into Al- 
bany or the neighboring towns to barter country produce at the va- 
riety store, or to attend church, with their women-folk on a cushion 
behind them, over very rough and stony roads. Saddle-horses, farm 
wagons, and two-wheeled chaises were the only modes of locomotion ; 
and news from abroad reached them slowly and at long intervals from 
the towns. An effort was made in Dongan's time for an extensive 
continental postal service, in the interest of the Duke of York ; but 
it came to nothing, and the mails to Philadelphia were carried by a 
boy in saddle-bags, which no one thought of robbing, while in the 
opposite direction they crept slowly up the Hudson on board the 
sluggish river craft The first stage line was opened to the south 
in the year 1756 ; but not until after the Revolution were they es- 
tablished between New York and the inland villages to the north.* 

The trading habits of the people outside the agricultural interests 
tended, of course, to build up towns. Albany owed its existence to the 
fur trade, of which it was the great centre for the northern colonies ; 
and Schenectady grew up from the same traffic. In the earliest times 
each dwelling in Albany was also a trading-house, with store-rooms 

» Smyth, ii., 8Y8 ; American Lady, L, 95, 100, 104, 108 ; ii., 28 ; Kalm, i., 285 ; ii., 
284; Hist Coll.,iv., SmitVe HiaU, p. 2Y4 and ff.; Weise, Hist, of Troy; Onder- 
donk^s Hempstead ; Biker's Kewtown ; Reed's Amenia ; Stiles's Brooklyn ; Wat- 
son, Hist Tales of Olden Time; Wood's Long Island; Jones's Lecture on Long 
Island; Bolton's Westchester; Smith's Hist, of Dutchess; Memoirs of Elkanah 
Watson ; Tyler's American Literature. 

* Weise, Hist of Troy ; Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 296 ; Munsell's Annals, 
i. ; Stilee's Brooklyn, L ; Doc relating to CoL Hist, i. ; Watson, Historic Tales ; Acts 
of Assembly, 1708. 


for furs in the secood story ; and the worthy burghers, in the good 
Dutch fashion, made the little town a sort of close corporation, kept 
the trades to themselves, had apprenticeship carefully regulated by 
law, and maintained themselves so successfully, that even as late as 
the year 1790 a stranger wishing to transact business had to pay five 
pounds for admission as a freeman of the town. Albany was found- 
ed by the Dutch, and remained their stronghold down to the Revolu- 
tion long after they had lost control of the sister city at the moatb 
of the river ; and there the Dutch commercial spirit, selfish and often 
cunning, ruled unchecked, and the Dutch peculiarities of life and man- 
ners appeared in full perfection. At the period of the Revolution Al- 
bany was a town of about five thousand inhabitants, with one long ill- 
paved street, where cattle wandered unrestrained, straggling along the 
river^s edge. The houses, with gable-ends to the street, low and pictu- 
resque, with peaked roofs and long projecting spouts, were solidly built 
of brick or stone, and each stood by itself, with a garden and little green 
about it Some of the houses were handsome for the time, with spa- 
cious low rooms heavily wainscoted, the date of construction in iron 
figures let into the yellow imported brick, and surmounted by elabo- 
rate gilded weather-cocks. In the door-ways of their dwellings the old 
Dutchmen passed much of their time, peacefully smoking, and watch- 
ing the oscillations of their own and their neighbor's vanes. These 
porches were the only places of social meeting, and every one who 
passed had to pause and greet the occupants of the long benches on 
each side of the door. They were a reserved people, shy of strangers, 
showing great disfavor in the eighteenth century to those who wore 
their own hair in a queue like the dreaded Frenchmen, but withal 
hospitable and kindly. The rich lived in great comfort ; the poor 
not so well as their country brethren. Life was quiet and unevent- 
ful. The only diversions were in strolling about and sitting in the 
taverns, where the men played billiards, cards, or chess ; but the ab- 
sence of amusements did not weigh upon them. They regarded with 
almost Puritanic disgust the festivities and theatricals of the British 
officers at the time of the French war, and even as late as the year 
1786 strongly opposed a public theatre. Everything about them was. 
simple and unaffected. The women worked hard, rose early, went to 
bed late, were notable housewives, and neat almost to a fault. Their 
worst defect, as a people, was their grasping spirit in trade ; to illus- 
trate which it was said that not even a Jew could hope to get a liv- 
ing among them ; and there is no doubt that travellers complained ve- 


hemently of their extortionate prices and love of money. They kept 
on in their own way, however, contentedly and prosperoasly until af- * 
ter the Revolution, and then the Yankee appeared in Albany, as he 
did elsewhere, and improved the city and developed business, and cut 
off the long projecting spouts which had dripped for a hundred years 
on the passers-by, and ended by overwhelming the Dutchmen, and ab- 
'lorbing them in his own pushing, driving race/ 

In the city of New York the original possessors had lost their hold 
at a much earlier period than in Albany, socially as well as politically ; 
but the town from the beginning, and under every rule, was the centre 
of provincial life, and the scene of constant activity. Trade brought 
the Dutch adventurers to the end of Manhattan Island, where the West 
India Company built its five great storehouses, and trade built up the 
city, and continued to be the ruling and guiding interest. As early as 
the year 1648 a weekly market was held between the Company's store- 
houses and the fort, and the Dutch " kermis " took place every year 
for the sale of home productions. Ten years later the Broadway shann 
bles came into being, with butchers holding great and small burgher's 
rights ; and the cattle-market of the province was on the strand, where 
the farmers' boats landed. The narrow and careful but enterprising 
Dutch spirit was manifested for years in the strict regulations for 
trade and in the exclusion from handicrafts of strangers, who were 
not freemen of the city, which they made the distributing point not 
only for their own, but the neighboring provinces, and thus gave a 
strong impulse and direction to the whole course of development 
New York became at an early day, and has remained, a great centre 
for trade from all parts of the world, and this gave in colonial days 
a cosmopolitan tone to the community, which contrasts strongly with 
anything that can be found in the other provinces. At the period 
of the Revolution the town rose gradually from the quays which had 
been built at the southern extremity of the island, and extended in- 
land for nearly a mile with an average width of perhaps half that 
distance. The streets were paved, except on the high ground, fairly 
, clean, and drained by wide gutters in the middle of the highway, to 
which rows of tall trees on each side gave a pleasant look. Many 
years before the Revolution the streets were lighted and watched, al- 

1 Ealm, ii., 266, 261, 262, 264, 267 ; American Lady, i., 44, 95 ; ii., 23 ; Smyth, ii., 
293; Brissot, p. 127 ; Pennsylvania Hist. Ck)ll., i. 868; Barnes, Early Hist of Alba- 
ny; Worth, Random Recollections of Albany ; Mansell, i., vil ; Memoirs of Elkanah 


though tho uncertain supply of oil rendered the former benefit for a 
long time a precarious one. The old Dutch houses — which were all 
built of brick or stone, commonly of the former, yellow in color, and 
adorned with checker-work patterns — stood with gable ends toward the 
street, thus distinguishing themselves from their more modem neigh- 
bors, built in much the same style but turning a full face to the road. 
Almost all the houses were gabled, with high pitched roofs of shin- 
gles or variegated tiles surmounted by a balcony railing, within which 
the occupants of the mansion were wont to sit on summer evenings 
and enjoy the view of the harbor. The interiors were neat and com- 
fortable, with low rooms, alcoves, and window-seats, high wainscots of 
painted wood-work, and whitewashed walls. The furniture was solid, 
usually of mahogany; no carpets covered the sanded floors; pewter 
and copper were generally used ; and china was rare, although every 
family of standing had a certain amount of massive silver. Hangings 
were seldom seen ; but the influence of trade and travel could be ob- 
served in the drawings and pictures which adorned the walls of most 
of the houses. The public edifices by no means equalled the private 
houses, and were for tho most part insignificant ; the college was hard- 
ly finished ; and the only buildings for the purposes of charity were 
the hospital for seamen and the pest-houses on the harbor islands. 
Trade was better supplied, for there were coffee-houses, and an ex- 
change with a spreading arcade where merchants met daily. At the 
time of the Revolution the town, although said to be less populous 
than either Boston or Philadelphia, numbered about fifteen to eigh- 
teen thousand inhabitants, and had the greatest trade in America. 

New York, moreover, was not only the business centre of tho prov- 
ince, but that of law and government as well ; besides being, until rev- 
olution impended, the only military post on the continent, with Eng- 
lish troops and officers who added much to the bustle and variety of 
the place. In addition also to the community which had grown up 
on the soil, there was a strong foreign element ; and the resnlt was a 
mixed and polished society, as hospitable and much gayer and more 
entertaining than any other in the English possessions in America.* 

' Description of New York, see Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 296 ; American 
Lady,!., 42; Smyth*s Tour, ii., 870 ; Raynal, 1766; Kalm, i., 248, 260, 258 ; Burna- 
by, pp. 106, 108, 113 ; Wansey,pp. 73, 226; Denton, 1670; Stiles's Brooklyn, i. ; De 
Voe'a Markets ; Watson, Historic Tales ; Doc. relating to Ck)l. History of New York, 
1744; Acts of Assembly, 1692, 1758,1761; Elkanah Watson's Memoirs, 1784; 
Mad. Knight's Journal. 


Some of the inhabitants were the great proprietors who came to town 
for the winter, and in spring went up the Hudson to their estates ; 
while others, of the more wealthy class, had handsome country-seats on 
Long Island, renowned in the colonies for its fine farms and high cul- 
tivation. But the great majority of the New York population of all 
classes remained in the pleasant town all the year round. They were 
all, with few exceptions, tradesmen of one sort or another, from the 
great merchant whose ships sailed to Europe, down through the re- 
tail dealers and shopkeepers, to the young adventurer, who started off 
with his pack of beads and knives to truck and barter with the In- 
dians. Most of them belonged to the middle class, who rose early, 
breakfasted at daylight, dined at twelve, and worked hard at their 
shops, which they had the good-sense to close early in order to go 
forth for amusement and exercise. The wealthiest society was very 
fashionable in dress and manners, and devoted to the last London 
novelties. The women wore silks and velvets, the men displayed 
great luxury at their tables, and the tone of conversation aimed to 
be witty, sentimental, and refined. This society had its balls, con- 
certs, and private theatricals; and the gentlemen evening clubs at the 
taverns. The active social life of New York is strongly shown in 
this matter of clubs. As early as the beginning of the century there 
was a Jacobite, an Irish, and a French club ; and later a convivial 
club of professional men ; but nowhere does there appear to have 
been much indulgence in the fashionable vice of extravagant gam- 
ing. Besides in-door amusements there were in winter sleighing-par- 
ties to the neighboring country tavern, and the road was covered in 
the evening with rapidly driven sleighs, which in fine weather were re- 
placed by picnics and fishing-parties, or turtle-feasts at some favorite 
inn. The participants drove out in couples in the chaises universal- 
ly used, and returned after supper by way of the well-known.kissing- 

The amusements of the mass of the people did not differ much 
from those of the upper class, but the tone of society was strongly 
aristocratic, and the distinctions of dress were carefully observed. 
The ladies and gentlemen of fashion wore silks and velvets, powder 
and wigs, and the latter carried a sword. The wealthy tradesman 
appeared in broadcloth coat, with spreading skirts and wide cuffs; 
the shopkeeper in simple homespun, except on festivals ; and the 
workmen in leather aprons, which were never replaced by a long 
coat. The habits and amusements of the middle and lower classes 


were simple and wholesome. They strolled in the mall after the 
day's work, or went, gayly dressed, on a holiday or Sunday after- 
noon, to see an ox roasted whole on the Battery, in the presence of 
the Governor and Council, or to the customary bull-baiting, or to the 
local Ranelagh and Yauxhall, where they saw fire -works and drank 
beer, and then danced, and had a supper of chocolate and bread, un- 
til Dr. Laidlie saw fit to preach down these last harmless pleasures. 
There was, indeed, no lack of public amusements. The American the- 
atre began its career in New York about the middle of the eighteenth 
century in a house in Nassau Street, and from that time had a success- 
ful existence and not much opposition, until it finally became thorough- 
ly domesticated. The Dutch had also a fortunate liking for holidays, 
and these they kept, and gradually induced their unresting English 
neighbors to do the same. There were five great festivals — Christ- 
mas, New-year's, Passover, Whitsuntide, and San Claas, or St. Nich- 
olas-day. Besides these there were the " Vrouwen-dagh," or St. Val- 
entine's -day, when young girls went about the streets striking the 
young men with knotted cords; Easter, May -day, with the classic 
poles, and Pinkster, early in June, when there was a general exodus 
to the woods. Then there were the official English celebrations of 
the Gunpowder Plot, the birthday and the coronation, when great 
bonfires were lighted on the common, and there was much rejoicing 
and feasting at the expense of the city. Ncw-year'fr<lay began with 
firing salutes, and parties then went about the town, stopping at ev- 
ery house to fire guns and drink punch, with much indiscriminate 
burning of gunpowder, forbidden by the Assembly in the year 1773. 
"Pinkster" was a day of especial liberty for the negroes, who had 
great picnics, followed by dancing, sometimes of a most indecent char- 
acter, which was witnessed by all the people of the town. On all holi- 
days, and indeed at other times, a good deal of rough fun was en- 
joyed by th^ boys of different parts of the town, who indulged in fac- 
tious fights in the streets.^ 

The social life of New York was, as may be seen, gay and pleasant, 

^ Amusements and habits, see Huguenot Family in Virginia, p. 296 ; Brissot, pp. 
122, 128, 140 ; Wansey, pp. 74, 228 ; Kalm, i., 246 ; Smyth, ii., 876 ; Hist CoU., it., 
Smith's History, p. 274 and ff. ; Ibid., iii., N. S., Extracts from Newspapers ; De 
Voe*8 Marltets of New York, 1735; Watson, Historic Tales of the Olden Time; 
Francis, Old New York ; Mad. Knight's Journal ; Furman's Antiquities of Long 
Island ; Long Island Hist. Soo. Coll., i., Journal of Labadists ; Valentine's History 
of New York ; Duer, New York as it Was ; Bumaby, p. 115 ; Rochefoacauld, il, 465. 


with no lack of amusements of all sorts — ^from bull-baiting to con* 
certs ; but the intellectual life was by no means equally strong. In- 
deed, literature in New York had a feebler existence than in any of the 
northern colonies. There was none deserving of remembrance outside 
the work of Golden — a talented and versatile man— on the Five Nations^ 
and William Smith's History of New York. With these ezceptionsy 
the only efforts at authorship were those of a knot of clever young 
men who wrote verses and essays for the newspapers, mostly of a 
political nature, and of a perfectly ephemeral character. In the year 
1740 there was only one press in New York, and two or three weekly 
gazettes alone possessed the field prior to the Revolution. Albany 
had no newspaper until the year 1771, and there was none on Long 
Island before the Revolution. In most house» there was no literature 
except of a religious kind ; and the booksellers had little besides Bibles, 
prayer-books, and spelling-books in their stock. Some of the leading 
men, like Sir William Johnson, imported many books and periodicals 
from England, and good private libraries were not uncommon ; but, 
as a rule, there was little reading and less writing done in the prov- 

In regard to two of the three great events in each human life, the 
customs of town and country were not essentially different Mar- 
riages were, as a rule, very young, very fruitful, and apparently very 
happy. Breach-of-proraise suits were rare, and before the year 1786 
there is said to have been only one case of divorce. Marriages were 
at first by the publication of banns ; but this practice fell into disuse, 
and was replaced by the Governor's license, which formed a fruitful 
source of official revenue. The ceremony was not accompanied by 
much parade, and only the immediate friends were present ; but the 
following day it was the custom for the groom to give a collation in 
the morning, which was kept up all day, and concluded with a good 
deal of hard drinking.* The simplicity of the customs in relation to 
marriage, however, were more than made up for by the pomp and cir- 
cumstance attending funerals, which form a very striking, and, from the 

' Kalm, i., 266 ; Stone^s Life of Johnson ; Funnan^s History of Brooklyn ; Wan. 
sey, pp. 76, 284, 288 ; Munsell's Annals of Albany, i. ; Stiles, History of Brooklyn, 
i. ; Furman*s Antiquities of Long Island ; Long Island Hist. Soc. Coll., i., Journal 
of Labadists ; Tyler*8 American Literature. 

• American Lady, i., 74, 92 ; Onderdonk's Hempstead ; Furman's Brooklyn ; 
Munseirs Annals, i. ; Furman^s Antiquities of Long Island ; Watson, Historio 


excess to which tbey were carried, a peculiar feature of New York pro- 
Tincial life. When a man married he laid down always some fine Ma- 
deira to be drunk at his funeral ; and when a death occurred special 
invitations were sent out, the friends gathered at the house, scarfs and 
gloves were distributed, and the mourners sat solemnly about the cof- 
fin drinking and smoking. After a prayer, the bier was borne to the 
grave, a long procession following ; and the invited guests then return- 
ed to the house, where a generous feast was spread. In the country 
only men went to the grave, but in New York ladies went also, and 
sometimes acted as pall-bearers. One or two examples bring home 
this characteristic feature of a past time far better than any general 
description. In the year 1756 one Lucas Wyngaard, an old bachelor, 
and the last of his race, died in Albany. After the burial, the mourn- 
ers assembled at the house of the deceased to make a night of it 
They consumed a pipe of wine and an endless quantity of tobacco, 
kept up their revels until morning, broke all the glasses and decan- 
ters, and wound up by making a bonfire of their scarfs on the hearth. 
Such an instance shows the excesses which these funeral feasts some- 
times caused ; but all were deeply marked by pomp and expense. A 
funeral often cost three or four thousand dollars. The first wife of 
the patroon, Stephen Van Rensselaer, was buried at a cost of twenty 
thousand dollars ; two thousand scarfs were distributed, and all the 
tenants of the manor came into Albany, where they were entertained 
for three or four days at the expense of their landlord. On the death 
of any prominent roan or person of wealth, a general invitation to the 
obsequies was given from the pulpit, and cakes and Madeira were pro- 
vided for the crowds that came to partake of them. At an ofiScial fu- 
neral the parade was even greater; as in the case of James De Lancey, 
who died in 1760. Minute-guns were fired from the forts and ship- 
ping while the procession, half a mile in length, moved slowly from 
the house to Trinity Church. First came the clerks of the church, 
the rector, and the clergy of the Protestant denominations, in the in- 
evitable chaises ; then the heai*sc, drawn by white horses, with the cof- 
fin, covered with a velvet pall emblazoned with gold escutcheons ; and 
finally the relatives, members of the Assembly, magistrates, and gen- 
tlemen of the law. The body was carried from the hearse on men's 
shoulders into the church, which was illuminated. A similar display 
was made at the funeral of Sir Henry Moore, who died in the year 
1768. It is not to be wondered at that such lavish expenditure pro- 
duced a reaction, and combined efforts for reform. In all the col- 


onies pompoas funerals were the castom, and tbe reform movement 
seems to have met with a general acceptance ; but in New York it 
had apparently little effect, and the custom died by the slow process 
of changing manners. The peculiar and extreme extravagance of 
New York, and the endurance of the custom, are due to the Dutch, 
who went far beyond the English in this matter, and to whom such 
an excess of cost and parade was indeed peculiar.' 

It only remains to describe briefly the character of New York poli- 
tics, which differed very much in some respects from those of any 
other colony. Local politics were carried on with great zeal, and a 
good deal of bitter feeling and popular excitement ; so much so that 
elections for the Assembly caused a general stoppage of business. For 
a week the candidates kept open house and feasted their supporters, 
and on election day bands of drunken electors patrolled the city, and 
stopped at every house to demand votes. The character of the provin- 
cial politics was but a part of the broader questions connected with 
the relations to the mother country. These were discussed and fought 
over with a degree of. virulence peculiar to New York, and due not 
only to the bad quality of the administration, but still more to the fact 
that here, and here alone, the territory had been settled and possessed 
by one nation and conquered by another. From the time of Andros 
and Combury, and their oppressive rule, there was always a vigorous 
resistance to the imperial government ; and there were also, of course, 
the usual grievances against England here as elsewhere. In Bello- 
months time the sheriffs could not be depended upon to seize smuggled 
goods, and the English navigation laws caused intense ill-feeling among 
a people so absorbed in foreign commerce. Impressment was another 
sore point; and in the year 1744 fishermen, who had suffered from 
the press -gang, burnt the boats of an English man-of-war on the 
beach. These particular grievances were, however, merely indications 
of a general feeling. The ill-advised Church policy caused a continu- 
ous struggle between the dissenting sects and the government ; and 
in the years preceding the Revolution the letters of the Governors are 
filled with complaints of the opposition — invariably styled a "fac- 
tion." Clinton wrote to the Duke of Newcastle that the people 
caught at everything to lessen the prerogative; and again, in 1747, 

^ Hist. Soc. Coll., iv., Smith, p. 278 and ff., De Lancey Funeral; History of Troy, 
Weise ; Munsell's Annals, i., Judge Benson*s Address ; Stiles's Brooklyn ; Watson, 
Historic Tales ; Furman's Antiquities of Long Island. 


that tbe Stamp Act proposed by Clarke was an unwise measure, and 
would encounter univereal resistance. There were in reality three 
parties. The English officials and the wealthy Dutch merchants in 
New York were very loyal ; they drank the King^s health on all oc^ 
casions, listened to sermons, draped their churches in mourning when 
the Prince of Wales died, and, in 1770, had great feasting and grand 
processions in honor of the erection of George the Third's statue, 
destined at an early day to be run into Revolutionary bullets. At 
the other extreme were the young men of English race, who pub- 
lished the Independent Reflector j and founded the Whig Club, where, 
in the words of the Tory historian, the New England spirit was ram- 
pant, Cromwell and Hampden were toasted, hatred sworn to kings 
and bishops, and a constant agitation kept up against the govern- 
ment. Between these two extreme parties was the great mass of 
the people, the Dutch farmers and foreign settlers, and some of the 
great manorial proprietors, who returned popular candidates to the 
Assembly. This third party was either lukewarm in their loyalty 
or positively indifferent, and could offer no opposition to any ac- 
tive faction ready to take a decisive and aggressive attitude.^ With 
these factious and bitter politics and strong party feelings. New York 
was swept easily into the Revolutionary current, and at the same time 
produced a Tory party of almost unequalled violence and activity. 

Thus wo come to the end of the middle group. In the south is 
found the Virginian influence acting upon Delaware and Pennsylva- 
nia, and gradually disappearing until it vanishes entirely, and New 
York is reached wholly free from Virginian ideas, but strongly tinged 
with those of the compact and strongly marked English communities 
to the eastward. From New York we pass out of the region which 
held the balance of power, and come in contact with the other great 
social and political force which battled with that of Virginia for mas- 
tery in the coming nation. 

' American Ladj, ii., 231 and £f. ; Kalm, L, 264 ; Hist Coll, iii., Extracts from 
Newspapers; MunselPs Annals, x., 1742; De Voe*s Markets of New York; Doc 
relating to Col. Hist, of New York, iv., vi., Letters of Governors ; Watson, Historic 
Tales ; Jones, Hist, of New York in Revolution. 


Chaptee XVIII. 


From the Norsemen to John Smith none of the early and dar- 
ing discoverers and adventurers, if ¥re except the remnants of the 
Popham colonists, succeeded in gaining a permanent foothold on the 
repellent shores of New England. The history of Massachusetts be- 
gins in an obscure Lincolnshire village, among a company of plain 
farmers and simple rustics, who had separated from Uie Church of 
England, and paid for their temerity by bitter and unceasing per- 
secution. Life became intolerable, and they resolved to fly. 
Hunted even to the water's edge, they at last assembled at 
Amsterdam, where they were free and safe, and could worship God 
as they pleased. From Amsterdam they removed to Leyden, sup- 
porting themselves in both cities by the work of their own hands ; 
but though they had religious freedom, the race feeling and the 
love of England was strong within them. They could not bear to 
live under foreign rule, and watch their children grow up and enter 
foreign service, and fall away from the faith of their fathers; so their 
thoughts turned to the New World, where surely there would be room, 
perhaps even an obscure corner of the vast possessions of the Brit- 
ish Crown in which they could find rest and peace. After prolonged 
negotiations and many disappointments, a patent was at last obtain- 
ed ; money was raised by London merchants, who acquired a mortgage 
in this way on the colony and its inhabitants, and a chosen 
^ * band sailed from Delfthaven in the Speedwell^ and joined the 
Mayflower at Southampton. Twice they started and twice they put 
back, first to Dartmouth and then to Plymouth ; and at last the May:^ 
flower sailed alone, with one hundred and two colonists. These men 
and women were simple rustics, farmers or workmen. The leaders 
even were not, with one or two exceptions, men of any marked social 
position. They were poor and friendless, separatists from the Church 
and exiles from England ; but they bore with them the seeds of a 


great nation and of a great system of government. They landed 
at Cape Cod, and there founded a democratic republic by 
'i^ao. ' ^^^ famous compact of the Mayflower. A few weeks later 
they landed at Plymouth, the vanguard of a great column, 
bearing a civilization and a system of government which was to con- 
front that other system founded far away to the south on the 
"leio?' "^^'^ ^^ Virginia, and which, after a conflict of two centu- 
ries and a half, was destined to prevail throughout the length 
and breadth of a continent 

I do not propose to rehearse the history of that memorable settle- 
ment at Plymouth. " It has all been told and painted," and the small- 
est details of the whole story have become household words. There 
is no need again to draw the picture of that awful winter of cold, fam- 
ine, and disease ; and of the little company slowly perishing on the 
sandy shores of Massachusetts Bay. There is no need tp repeat the 
history of their hopes returning with the spring, of the successful deal- 
ings with the Indians, of the difficulties at Weymouth, of the conten- 
tions with the genial and worthless Morton, and of the dangers from 
Gorges and from England. All is familiar, all are details trivial in 
themselves, but made grand by after results, and set down at the time 
with minute care by men like Bradford, who seemed to have an in- 
stinct that a nation would one day long to know their struggles for 
existence, and that he and his friends were laying one of the comer- 
stones of a great empire. Clinging with marvellous tenacity to the 
barren coast, a mere handful of persistent Englishmen, the Plymouth 
people held together. They bore up against nature and the savage, 
and against their fellow-countrymen. They held out against the har- 
assing complaints of the London traders who had bought their labor, 
and, freeing themselves from this tyranny, took up a load of debt 
which they honestly labored to discharge. They threw out trading- 
posts, hunted, farmed, fished, worked, stayed, and struck root The col- 
ony grew slowly, and its humble fortunes prospered in a small fash- 
ion ; but it did its work, and opened the way and marked the spot 
for that great emigration which was to build up the powerful Puritan 
commonwealths of New England. 

While the people of Plymouth were struggling to establish their 
colony, some of the English Puritans, restless under the growing des- 
potism of Charles, began to turn their eyes to New England. 
Under the lead of the Rev. John White, the Dorchester Com- 
pany was formed for trading and fishing, and a station was established 


at Cape Ann ; but the enterprise did not prosper, the colonists were 
disorderly, and the Company made an arrangement for Roger Conant 
and others, driven from Plymouth by the rigid principles of the Sep- 
aratists to come to Cape Ann. 'Still matters did not improve, and 
the Company was dissolved ; but White held to his purpose, 
and Conant and a few others moved to Naumkeag, and deter- 
mined to settle there. Conant induced his companions to persevere, 
and matters in England led to a fresh attempt, for discontent grew 
rapidly as Charles proceeded in his policy. A second Dorchester Com- 
pany, not this time a small affair for fishing and trading, hut one 
backed by men of wealth and influence, was formed, and a large grant 
of lands was made by the Council for New England to Sir 
Henry Roswell and five others. One of the six patentees, John 
Endicott, went out during the following summer with a small com- 
pany, assumed the goverament at Naumkeag, which was now called 
Salem, and sent out exploring parties. The Company thus formed in 
England was merely a voluntary partnership, but it paved the way for 
another and much larger scheme. Disaffection had become wide-spread. 
The Puritans began to fear that religious and political liberty alike 
were not only in dangef but were doomed to destruction, and a large 
portion of the party resolved to combine for the preservation of all 

that was dearest to them by removal to the New World. ThS"^ — -^ 
Dorchester Company was enlarged, and a royal charter was ob- 
tained incorporating the Govei^orand Company of Massachusetts Bay. 
The freemen of the Company were to meet four times in every year; 
they could choose a Governor, deputy, and eighteen assistants, who 
were to meet every month ; they were authorized to administer oaths 
of supremacy and allegiance, admit new associates, defend themselves \ 
by arms, transport settlers, and manage in every way their own affairs, i 

Nothing was said of religious liberty ; for this famous instrument was 

as shrewdly as it was loosely drawn. Omit the word Company, and 
we have the constitution of an independent state with very ill -de- 
fined powers. 

The new scheme once started, organization proceeded rapidly. En- 
dicott was made local Governor, and Matthew Cradock Governor of 
the Company ; money was freely subscribed, and six vessels with em- 
igrants, supplies, and cattle, under the charge of eminent and ''god- 
ly " ministers, were despatched at once to Massachusetts. They set- 
tled at Salem, established a church by mutual covenant, with Skelton 
as pastor and Higginson as teacher, and sent out men to prepare for 


anotber settlement at Cbarlestown. Everything seems to have been 
preconcerted. There was no obstraction or discussion, and at every 
step, and especially in the matter of tbe Cbnrcb, we see tbe develop- 
ment of a well-matured plan. But these men were not separatists 
like those of Plymouth. They were members of the Church of Eng- 
land, Puritans, and Reformers, representing a large, powerful, and ever- 
increasing element in tbe English race, and they had behind them re- 
ligious, social, and political forces unknown in the foundation of oth- 
er colonies. They established an independent Church at Salem, not 
because they wished to break from the English Church, but because 
they desired a purified Church, and under the circumstances of a new 
country they were compelled to construct one upon a new and self- 
sustaining model. To this course of action two of the counsellors 
at Salem objected ; whereupon Endicott ordered them away, and they 
betook themselves to England with their complaints of separatism. 
The Company acted cautiously, but it was clear that they meant to 
exercise absolute control, and exclude opponents from their domain. 
Meanwhile events moved fast in England. Charles was determined 
to rule arbitrarily and alone, and the Puritans took the next step in 
their plan of colonization by resolving to remove the Company and 
its government to New England. Winthrop was chosen Governor, 
and Humphrey deputy. The leaders were country gentlemen, mer- 
chants, and soldiers, men of wealth and position — while the bulk of 
the emigration was, as a rule, from the farmers and yeomanry, who 
w^ere people of substance. It was the migration of a people, not the 
mere setting forth of colonists and adventurers. The trading purposes 
of the corporation soon disappear, we can see the whole broad scheme 
^oi the Puritan leaders, and how, under the disguise of a^ trading com- 
pany and a comniercial charter, they went forth to found a State, and 
erect an independent government Those of the Company who did 
not go to America remained in England to enter the Long Parlia- 
ment, and fight in the civil wars. If we run over the names of those 
connected with the Massachusetts Company we find nearly all the 
leaders of the Puritan party, the magnitude of the scheme becomes 
apparent, and we see that if all had been lost in England, there would 
in a few years have sprung up in America a great Puritan State, pow- 
erful enough to have defied the mother country, and stood out as her 
equal at the very outset. As it was, a great work was accomplished, 
and the party which raised up the commonwealths of New England 
with one hand tore down the Stuart throne with the other. 


In the spring of 1630 Winthrop and the other officers and leaders, 
having published an address to their brethren in England, sail- 
ed with a fleet of eleven vessels ; and before the next winter 
set in a thousand colonists had arrived. Winthrop found the colony 
at Salem languishing from hunger and sickness, while disease and ex- 
posure carried ofE some of his own company. Attention was given 
at once to choosing a new site, and the first attempt was made at. 
Cbarlestown, where a church was formed on the independent model 
of Salem, and courts of assistants were held to punish misdemeanors, 
and provide for order and police in the various plantations. The lack 
of good water drove many of the people across the river to Boston, 
and there the first general court of the Company was held, by which 
almost all power was conferred upon the assistants ; but as there were 
many applications for admission to the Company, it was evident that 
the freemen would before long have to be still further consulted. It 
was resolved soon after to build a fort at Boston, and then Newtown, 
afterward Cambridge, was selected for the capital, where the Govern- 
or and assistants agreed to build houses. The winter passed heavily 
in wretched and imperfect shelters, and with much suffering. 

At the next meeting of the general court, when the first elections 
were held, it was enacted that no one should be admitted a 
freeman, and so have the right to vote, unless he was a mem- 
ber of one of the churches within the limits of the colony. Thus . 
the great Puritan theory of Church and State united in one organiza- 
tion was fairly put in practice. One hundred and eighteen persons ' 
were admitted to the franchise, a general court was ordered to be held 
every year, and the assistants were to hold from year to year unless 
removed, thus concentrating the power still more in the hands of the 
magistrates. Winthrop and Dudley were continued as Governor and 
Deputy, the capital was soon after finally fixed at Boston, and the 
government was carried on in practice wholly by the magistrates; an 
absorption which, even in those early days of battle for existence, 
soon provoked opposition. A tax was laid for fortification, and 

the people of Watertown refused to pay their share for fear 

of " bringing themselves and posterity into bondage." They were pac- 
ified by Winthrop, who told them the government was in the nature 
of a parliament, and that all the assistants were elected. This oppo- 
sition, however, bore fruit at the next general court, where the free- 
men resumed the right of electing Governor and Deputy, choosing i 
Winthrop and Dudley again to those positions; and they also deter- 


mined that two delegates should be chosen from eyety plantation 
to confer with the assistants about raising a public stock. Thus the 
foundation of a Lower House was laid, and true representative and 
parliamentary government begun. Meantime, a church had been start- 
"ed at Boston, where the cabins of the settlers were increasing, and 
new plantations began to spring up on the shore and in the inte- 
rior, unmolested by savages, who had been swept from the coast by 
disease. The chief enemy was in poor crops and scarcity of sup- 
plies, and against these evils the colonists battled manfully. Forts 
were erected to protect the town against French attacks from the 
north, and the strongly-planted settlement was firmly rooted in the 
new soil. 
The accession of Laud to the primacy gave a fresh start to the tide 
of emigration, which brought out this year Hooker, who set- 
tled at Newtown, and the famous John Cotton, who remained 
at Boston. This renewed emigration, indeed, assumed such propor- 
tions as to attract attention in England, for in the previous year the 
various persons who had been driven from the colony, backed by 
Gorges and Mason, who were jealous of their eastern grants, had ac- 
cused the people of Massachusetts of intending rebellion and inde- 
pendence. The first attack was warded off ; but when suspicion was 
again awakened, the detention of emigrant ships was ordered, and 
Cradock was commanded to appear and produce the charter. Then it 
was known that the charter had gone to America, and the roy- 
al government was aroused to a sense of what had happened. 
While danger was preparing at home the colony had grown to three 
or four thousand inhabitants, distributed in sixteen towns. All the 
freemen could not assemble, but their representatives did, and pro- 
ceeded to do much more than advise as to ^^ raising public stocf 
They took all power into their hands, chose Dudley Governor, to show 
that no office was a freehold, rebuked the assistants, admitted free- 
men, passed laws, and administered oaths of allegiance, not to the king 
but to the government of the colony ; and so after three days quietly 
adjourned, making provision for the future choice of deputies from 
the towns. Representative democracy was fairly establisbed, and the 
Puritan system of a united Church and State was on trial. 

Trade began, and adventurers made their way to the Connecticut 
and sailed along the Sound to New York, while farms were opened 
and tilled, cattle raised, and population rapidly increased. The State 
was created, and it was now necessary to maintain it against attacks 


in England and dissensions at home. The latter they had guarded 
against hy banishing disaffected persons ; the former they met boldly 
and wisely. Mr. Cradock sent a copy of the order requiring a pro- 
duction of the patent, and the assistants laid it on the table, and de- 
clined to act without authority from the general court When the 
court met it was known that a royal commission for the case of the 
colonies had been organized, and that a Governor-general was to be 
appointed. The court ordered new forts to be built, and the people 
to be trained in arms; while Dudley, Winthrop, and three others were 
appointed to manage any war that might befall ; and the ministers soon 
after were called to advise with the assistants, when it was resolved 
that they would not accept a general Governor, but defend their lawful 
possessions. At the next general court farther steps were taken 
to fortify the towns, erect beacons, arm and discipline soldiers, 
and a military commission was appointed with extraordinary powers. 
This was the answer of Massachusetts to the demands of England. 
Emigration was prohibited by the royal commission, the Council for 
New England divided its property among twelve associates, and re- 
signed its charter, and a quo warranto was brought by the attorney- 
general against the Massachusetts Company. Judgment was given 
against Sir Henry Roswell and others of the original patentees, and it 
looked as if the end, so far as the law could go, was near ; but Mas- 
sachusetts disregarded all this, and events favored the colony, for ship- 
money and " prelatizing " absorbed public attention in England, and 
their most energetic opponent. Mason, died. While thus facing this 
perilous attack from abroad, the colony had also to confront their first 
serious opposition at home. Some years before Roger Williams had 
come to the colony, and got into trouble by refusing to join the con- 
gregation at Boston, because they would not publicly repent having had 
communion with the English Church, and denied the right of magis- 
trates to punish for breaches of the Sabbath, and of the first table of the 
Decalogue. Despite the remonstrance of the assistants, he was chosen 
teacher of the Salem Church ; and then for a time he lived at Plym- 
outh, where he published a treatise impugning the right of Massachu- 
setts to her land under the King's grant. This was laid before the 
magistrates ; Williams made submission, and the treatise was burned. 
This was after his return to Salem, where he soon raised a ferment by 
denouncing women for going unveiled, and by inciting Endicott to 
cut the cross from the flag ; but he was chosen preacher nevertheless in 
spite of the protests of the magistrates. He was soon in trouble again 


for preaching against the King's patent, and yet again for denying the 
right to administer an oath to the nnregenerate. He was heard hef ore 
the ministers, the quarrel extended to Salem and the Salem Church, 
and at last the general court took hold of it, and ordered Williams to 
leave the colony within six weeks. The time was extended to the fol- 
lowing spring; but Williams kept up the disturbance at Salem, 
and the magistrates determined to send him to England. He 
heard of the danger, and fled into the wilderness. The whole matter 
was a mere question of policy, and not at all of religious liberty. Wil- 
liams attacked the right of the colonists to their land ; he denied the 
powers of the magistrate to enforce the laws ; he struck at allegiance 
to the government ; he strove to encourage a policy which would still 
further inflame the King, and embitter their relations with England ; 
ho stirred up disorder and dissension — and all this was done in a 
time of trial and extreme danger from abroad. That at this day he 
could have done and said all he did unmolested, is probable ; but even 
now in time of war such a man would be regarded with suspicion. 
Under the circumstances of the time and place, he was dangerous 
to the State ; the magistrates had the right to turn him out, and they 
acted strongly and wisely in doing so. Others were wiser than he, 
submitted to punishment, and gave way. Endicott was called to ac- 
count for cutting the cross, was relegated to private life, and finally 
disfranchised for a year; while Israel Stoughton was disabled from 
ofSce for denying the power of the magistrates. 

The commonwealth, for such it had come to be, was growing and 
strengthening. Courts had been established, and churches and towns 
ordered and regulated on a uniform model ; and in the memorable 
year which opened with conflict at home and abroad the Puritans 
founded Harvard College. The previous year had brought to the col- 
ony, besides an increasing emigration, the younger Winthrop, bearing 
a commission from Lord Say-and-Sele, Lord Brooke, and their asso- 
ciates, patentees of Connecticut A movement had been begun in that 
direction some two years before, and had been thwarted by the persist- 
ent opposition of the magistrates ; but, after much controversy, it was 
found impossible to check the migration, and Hooker had gone thither 
with a large company. Arrangements were made with these settlers, 
and with those from Plymouth who preceded them, the new colonies 
were fairly started, and soon freed themselves from the protecting rule 
of Massachusetts. 

With the younger Winthrop came two men who played a great 


part in the troubled times of the Rebellion — the youngetYane. and 
Hugh Peter — who at once mixed themselves up in politics, undertook 
to revise the administration, heal the feud between the elder Winthrop 
and Dudley, and, in concurrence with the ministers, enforce greater 
strictness in every department of the State. Carried away by the 
glamour of his position and by the brilliancy of his talents, the 
freemen chose Vane Governor at the next general court, thus doing 
all in their power to increase the confusion of the stormiest and 
most perilous year in the early history of the colony. Vane's first 
act was to get a royal fag from one of the ships, which, with his 
assent, was displayed at the fort A committee was raised, also, to re- 
vise the laws. But graver matters than these pressed upon the col- 
ony; trouble was brewing with the Indians, there were fights with 
traders, and murders, and, finally, Endicott was sent out with three 
ships and a body of soldiers. He ravaged Block Island, which only en- 
raged the Pequods without terrifying them ; so they began to destroy 
outlying settlements, and Connecticut seemed doomed to destruction. 
But the little settlements raised men, and applied to Massachusetts 
and Plymouth for aid. Soldiers came, and the united forces, under 
Mason and Underhill, surrounded the chief Pequod town, stormed 
the ramparts, fired the wigwams, and put to the sword, without re- 
gard to age or sex, some seven hundred of the savages. The rest of 
the tribe were attacked on their retreat, and only a handful finally es- 
caped to New York. The work was done in true Puritan fashion ; the 
Pequod tribe was literally exterminated, and the '* land had rest forty 
years." But while the strain of savage war was upon them, while 
their soldiers were marching southward to join the men of Connecti- 
cut, troubles had broken out at Boston, which arose from the actions 
and sayings of Mrs. Hutchinson, an active, energetic, uneasy woman, 
who had followed Cotton to America some years before. Her broth- 
er-in-law. Wheelwright, soon settled at Mount Wollaston, was her chief 
ally, and Mrs. Hutchinson herself propounded various doctrines which 
were at variance with those generally accepted. She held lectures for 
women, and assailed the ministers — especially Wilson, of the Boston 
church — accusing them of being under a covenant of works, not 
of grace, and satirizing their sermons. Loud and bitter controversies 
sprang up. Mrs. Hutchinson obtained the powerful support of Yane, 
and of Dummer and Coddington ; and, to a certain extent, of Cotton. 
Boston was in a ferment of excitement Wilson, the pastor of the 
Boston church, where the Hutchinsonians were in the majority, was 


attacked and censured ; and at the next meeting of the coart tlie 
ministers also assembled, and a fast was ordered. The ministers de- 
cided in conclave that for heresy and error the conrt might proceed 
without tarrying for the Church ; and thereupon Wheelwright, for a 
sermon preached during the fast, was adjudged guilty of sedition by 
the court, although the Governor, some members of the House, and 
the people of Boston protested. The next court for general elec- 
tions was held in the open air at Newtown, where Winthrop and Dad- 
ley were chosen Governor and Deputy, and the Hutchinsonians were 
left ofE the board of assistants. After a scene of great violence, the 
old party, backed by the ministers and the country members, prevail- 
ed. Vane behaved petulantly and angrily, and, after some further 
controversy with Winthrop, left the country forever. The sentence 
of Wheelwright was deferred ; a synod of ministers was held, eighty- 
two points of doctrine held by members of the Hutchinsonian par- 
ty were condemned, and it looked as if peace would return without 
resort to stronger measures. But in the autumn the controversy 
broke out once more; Wheelwright's sermon was again called in 
question, and, as its author was contumacious, he was disfranchised 
and banished, and soon after betook himself to the Piscataqua. Mrs. 
Hutchinson was then sent for, and, after a stormy trial and fierce al- 
tercations, was likewise sentenced to banishment, and during the win- 
ter confined in her house, where she was visited by the clergy, and 
gradually retracted her doctrines, but asserted that much had been 
falsely attributed to her. This led to fresh controversy ; the govern- 
ment finally interfered, a warrant was issued for her expulsion 
from the jurisdiction, and she departed to Rhode Island. Some 
of her sympathizers followed her, some were disarmed and banished, 
but most of them recanted and made submission. The case of Roger 
Williams was political ; that of Mrs. Hutchinson was both political and 
religious. Her peculiar doctrines and her sharp criticisms aroused the 
undying hostility of the clergy, the most powerful class in the commu- 
nity ; while the action of Vane and his friends associated her with the 
opposition to the old leaders. An attack upon the Church, in a com- 
munity where Church and State were identical, was an attack upon 
the State ; and the fierce dissension which she caused was a source of 
danger to a colony in perpetual peril from English foes. The govern- 
ment drove her from their jurisdiction — as they had a perfect right to 
do— because the clergy hated her, and because they believed the safe- 
ty of the State required it There is no doubt that it was a vigorous 


and arbitrary suppression of freedom of speech and opinion, and the 
only question is whether, politically, and as a matter of expediency, 
the government's high-handed measures were justified by circum- 
stances. No one who looks at the matter from the point of view 
of the year 1637, and not from that of the nineteenth century, can 
hcsitata in answering the question in the afSrmative. The strong pol- 
icy of repression, at all events, answered its purpose, and peace, quiet, 
and safety were restored. The colony prospered, legislation was im- 
proved, and courts extended ; while three thousand additional settlers 
arrived. Another demand for the charter was made in peremptory 
terms, and, after a long pause, the court sent to the Commissioners of 
Trade a firm although diplomatic refusal by the hand of Winthrop ; 
but the Scots were arming, and the matter rested for the time. 

Events in England had now reached a crisis, and the Puritan party, 
rising rapidly into power, no longer looked to America for a 
refuge. The great tide of emigration ceased to flow ; but the 
government of Massachusetts went on wisely and strongly under the 
alternating rule of Winthrop, Dudley, and Bellingham. The English 
troubles crippled the holders of the Mason and Gorges grants, and 
the settlements in New Hampshire — whither Wheelwright had gone, 
and where turbulence had reigned — were gradually added to the ju- 
risdiction of Massachusetts. In domestic matters everything went 
smoothly. There was some trouble with Bellingham, and 
Winthrop was again made Governor. The oath of allegiance 
to the King taken by the magistrates was abandoned, because Charles 
violated the privileges of Parliament, and the last vestige of depend- 
ence vanished. Massachusetts was divided into counties ; and out of 
a ludicrous contest about a stray pig, in which deputies and magis- 
trates took different sides, grew a very important controversy as to 
the powers of deputies and assistants, which resulted in the di- 
vision of the legislature into two branches, and a consequent 
improvement in the symmetry and solidity of the political system. 
A short time before a far more important event had occurred, when 
the first attempt was made at the Federal system, which more than a 
century later became the central principle in the formation of the 
United States. Dangers from the Dutch and the Indians had almost 
at the outset convinced Connecticut and New Haven that some union 
of the English was necessary. Massachusetts was lukewarm ; but at 
last commissioners from Connecticut, Plymouth, and New Haven came 
to Boston, and a New England Confederation was formed. This con- 


federacy, which excladed Rhode Island and the Gbrges settlements in 
Maine, and was styled the United Colonies of New England, provided 
for little more than an alliance offensive and defensive, with powers 
to make war and peace ; but it had a marked effect on the people 
of New England — ^greatly increased their power, and showed even in 
those early days the path by which a great nation was to be formed 
from jarring States. 

The confederacy thus established bad at once enough to do. They 
remonstrated with the Swedes on the Delaware, who had interfered 
with traders from New Haven, and checked the Dutch disposition to 
interfere in Connecticut ; while Massachusetts herself dealt with the 
troubles arising between D'Aulnay and La Tour in their conflict for 
the governorship of Acadia. The Bay colonists would not interfere 
actively, but they took advantage of the situation to open trade with 
the French settlements, and suffered La Tour to enlist men in Boston. 
This led to serious political differences, the commissioners of the con- 
federacy thought Massachusetts had gone too far, and at the next 
election Winthrop was displaced, and Endicott chosen in his stead. 
The opposition to Winthrop and his party took a still more marked 
form in Essex County, where a combined effort was made to get con- 
trol of the government, and break down the power of the magistrates, 
an attempt which resulted in failure. Massachusetts carried the same 
independence into her dealings with King and Parliament as with the 
conflicting Frenchmen. She forbade any attempt to draw together a 
party for the King, and although she permitted a commissioned ship 
to make a prize in the harbor, she stop|>ed privateering there in the 
interest of Parliament The people were also called upon to deal 
with an attempt to introduce Presbyterianism, and break down the 

religious franchise. A synod was called, but nothing was done ; 

and soon after the general court, finding that the petitioners 
were about to carry their cause to England, arrested them, seized their 
papers, and fined them. When the remonstrants did reach England 
the Presbyterians were no longer all-powerful, and a second synod 

firmly established in Massachusetts the Congregational system 

of independent churches. At the same time a strong effort 
was made for the work of converting the Indians, and aid obtained in 
England, although the colonists proceeded in all other matters with 
their customary independence. Meantime, the confederacy concluded 
a treaty with D'Anlnay, who had finally got the npperhand in Acadia, 
brought Stuyvesant to terms by threatening retaliation for his seizures 


of vessels in English waters, and, after much trouble, reduced to obedi- 
ence the Narragansetts, who had been restless and dangerous. In the 
confederacy itself everything did not proceed harmoniously. The at- 
tempt of Connecticut to levy a duty on ships at Saybrook was sup- 
ported by Plymouth and New Haven, and warmly contested by Mas- 
sachusetts even to the point of retaliation and a demand for 
the revision of the articles. In Massachusetts itself the party 
of Winthrop and Dudley again became supreme, the laws were re- 
vised, the revenue adjusted, and a system of common schools estab- 
lished at the expense of the towns. Two years afterward 
Winthrop died, and was succeeded by Endicott, who, with 
two intervals of a year each, held the ofBce of Governor for the next 
fifteen years. 

The years immediately succeeding the death of Winthrop were 
years of growth and prosperity, and of a still fuither development of 
independence. Massachusetts spread her jurisdiction to the 
south, and, in the north-east, obtained possession of Maine, 
while her population and trade alike increased. With the new pow- 
ers in England she pursued the same wary and firm policy that she 
had employed with Charles. After much deliberation she denied the 
right of Parliament to meddle with her charter, and took upon herself 
another attribute of sovereignty by coining money. She refused to 
enter into Cromwell's scheme of transporting the colonists to Ireland, 
and, later still, a similar and more cherished plan in regard to Jamaica. 
In the confederacy a like cautious policy was adopted. An alliance 
with New France was declined ; but in the relations with the Dutch 
there was more difficulty and grave dissensions ; for after protracted 
negotiations the other colonies pressed eagerly for war against their 
neighbors, and Massachusetts as steadily refused. The contest came 
near causing a rupture of the confederation, and there can be no 
doubt that Massachusetts dominated the confederacy by her superior 
strength without much regard to the articles of union. She succeed- 
ed in her wishes, however, and prevented a resort to force ; and, in a 
similar fashion, stopped a war which was much urged with the Nyan- 
tics. Even CromwelFs fleet could not tempt them, and peace finally 
removed the danger before hostilities actually occurred. With Crom- 
well himself Massachusetts practically maintained the relations of an 
independent State. She did not proclaim him ; and when a letter 
came from the Council of State ordering them to proclaim his son 
Richard^ it was passed by without notice. In a like manner they 



remaioed for three months silent as to the restoration of Charles, 
and then news came from their agent tliat their affairs had 
been brought before the King, and that complaints had been 
made against them ; whereupon a special court was convened, and ad- 
dresses to the King and Parliament, full of compliment, and praying 
for favor, were despatched. 

The complaints against the colony came from two sources — the 
eastern propnetors, whose territory had been absorbed, and from the 
Quakers. The wild fanatics of this famous sect had selected New 
England as a promising field, and some of them appeared in 1656 at 
Boston, where they were seized, and at once sent back on the ships 
which brought them. Then came sharp laws providing for whipping, 
mutilation, banishment, and death if they returned after being driven 
away. The Quakers were drunk with religious zeal, and came a few 
at a time, but did little in the way of conversion. They appeared 
naked in the streets and churches, hideous with grease and lamp-black 
— breaking bottles, and raising a riot and disturbance everywhere. 
The magistrates began with whipping and mutilation. Then the 
Quakers were banished, and came back to test the law. Two men 
were hung in Boston, and a woman and a man not long after ; and 
then the rising popular indignation prevailed, the law was modified, 
and, although the Quakers were punished from time to time, they 
had won their victory. The magistrates, headed by the fiery Endi- 
cott and by Bellingham, and backed by the Federal commissioners, 
had taken the ground that Massachusetts belonged absolutely to its 
people, and that they had the right now, as in the early days, to 
put down opposition and banish all malcontents. This policy had 
already been successful with Williams, Gorton, and Mrs. Hutchinson, 
as well as with smaller offenders. The theory was correct enough ; 
the diflSculty was that times had changed, and the people no longer 
were ready to put the theory into practice. Absolute intolerance, sus- 
tained by capital punishment, was no longer possible in New Eng- 
land ; and the first desperate fanatic who was eager to die was able 
to put it down. The Quakers made their way into Massachusetts; 
and the Baptists, who were at first arrested and dispersed, not long 
after obtained a tacit recognition ; while the question of baptism be- 
came a subject of heated controversy in the churches of the colony. 
It is not to be wondered at that the Quakers complained against 
Massachusetts as soon as they found any one to listen ; but 
the King's answer to the address of the general court was. 


nevertheless, very gracious. It came, however, in compaDj with an 
order to apprehend the exiles Whalley and Goffe, who had fled from 
England, and had been kindly received at Boston. The magistrates 
did their duty in the premises so far as they were obliged to, and the 
royal messengers scoured New England, but never reached the regi- 
cides. The government then proceeded to take such wary steps as 
they could to win favor by condemning the doctrines of the Fifth 
Monarchy men, ordering the Governor to take bonds of ships under 
the Navigation Act never before enforced, and by appointing a com- 
mittee who reported on the rights of the colony, and admitted the duty 
of allegiance to Charles. Then, after fifteen months' delay, Charles 
was proclaimed. They disregarded the royal mandamus that Quak- 
ers should be sent to England for trial, but modified the 
laws, and still inflicted corporal punishment. They further 
sent Bradstreet and Norton with an address to England, where they 
were well received, and whence they returned with another royal and 
gracious answer, which, however, demanded the oath of allegiance ; 
that all laws in derogation of royal authority should be repealed; 
that the Book of Common Prayer should be permitted to all desir- 
ing to use it ; that the religious test for suffrage should be abolished, 
and the administration of justice be in the Eing^s name. With the 
last of the requirements the court complied, despite much opposition, 
but did nothing toward obeying the other commands, which all ex- 
cited bitter discontent. A year later the new court consider- 

1 Afi3 

ed the royal commands again, and again did nothing except 
regulate navigation bonds and appoint a committee to consider the 
King's letter. When they next met the committee was not 
ready to report ; but, in the mean time, news had come that 
royal commissioners were on their way to New England; so a fast 
was ordered, measures were taken for the safety of the charter, the 
train-bands were organized, and the defences looked after. Thus pre- 
pared, the government of Massachusetts awaited their unwelcome vis- 
itors, who presently arrived with four men-of-war and troops for the 
conquest of New York. 

The royal commissioners, Nicolls, Carr, Cartwright, and Maverick, 
brought a letter to the Governor setting forth that they were to look 
into the affairs of the colony and their relations with the Dutch and 
Indians, settle boundaries, and inquire as to the former letter from the 
King. The commission empowered them to hear and decide all com- 
plaints and appeals, military and civil ; and there were besides two sets 


of iDstructions : one public, requiriDg maps and a report ; and one secret, 
ordering the commissioners to find out about public feeling, sound the 
leading men, endeavor to found a revenue or tribute, and obtain for 
the King the nomination of the Governor and of the officer at the head 
of the militia. When the general court came together, they passed a 
resolution of loyalty to the King and adherence to the patent; and 
they followed this with an order for two hundred volunteers for the 
New York expedition. They also repealed the religious test for the 
franchise, and substituted as a qualification that the voters should 
have certificates of good character from their ministers, and be*free- 
holders rated at ten shillings ; and they finally appointed a commit- 
tee, which, after two months, reported a petition to the King, remon- 
strating against the powers of the commissioners, and begging in 
moving, terms that their charter, laws, and liberties might not be in- 

While this committee was at work the commissioners and their 
forces sailed away to New York. The business of settling the affairs 
of the easily conquered territory, and their dealings with the other New 
England colonies, occupied them nearly two years ; but at last all was 
done, and they assembled in Boston for the final and decisive 
struggle. £ndicott was dead, and Bellingham at the helm. One 
by one the commissioners laid their instructions before the court, 
which sometimes received them in silence and sometimes met them 
with argument. Slowly and with increasing acrimony the commis- 
sioners went over the failures of Massachusetts to comply with the 
King's letter. They objected to the new test for suffrage, and to the 
ingeniously qualified oath of allegiance devised by the magistrates; 
referred constantly to the independence assumed by the colony ; and 
at last gave notice that they would hear an appeal against the Gov- 
ernor and Company, and set a day. The time for delay and negotia- 
tion was past, and when the day for the trial arrived a messenger of 
the court proclaimed in the street that the appeal to the commission- 
ers was an infringement of the Company's patent, and would not be 
permitted. The commissioners were helpless and beaten ; so they sent 
in a list of amendments to existing laws, and dispersed. Cartwright, 
to whom the papers were intrusted, was captured at sea ; and while 
he waited in England for copies indignation had time to cool, and 
other events and political changes pushed Massachusetts aside. A let- 
ter came from the King, during the contest with the commissioners, 
reproaching the court with contempt for his jurisdiction, and requir- 


ing some of the leaders to come to England ; bat for some months 
the coart went on with military defences against the Batch, and then 
replied that they had given their reasons for not submitting to the 
commissioners before, and had nothing to add. Not long after they 
sent to Engbind a present of masts for the royal navy, and prepared 
to aid in the war concladed by the peace of Breda. In the 
following year, after a long interval, the Federal commission- 
ers met again ; but New Haven was gone, and the vigor of the old 
organization seemed to have departed. Massachasetts, however, re- 
sanfed her sway in Maine, which the royal commissioners had med- 
dled with, and faced England with apparently undiminished strength. 
For eight years after her victory, Massachusetts was employed in 
nothing more important than questions of religious doctrines and the 
affairs of the college. It was well for her that she had this period of 
rest and prosperity, for misfortunes were at hand, which came thick 
and fast when they once began to come, and which racked the body 
politic, and put the direst strain upon the strength and resources of 
the people. For more than the lifetime of a generation there had 
been no trouble with the savages more serious than a trivial quaiTel, 
which had been speedily allayed. But while New England was oc- 
cupied with the royal commission, and during the succeeding years 
of peace, rumors of Indian plots came thicker and thicker, and seem- 
ed to have their origin with Philip, who had succeeded his father 
Massasoit, the chief of the Pokanokets, and the old friend of Plym- 
outh. Philip was called to account, and made submission several 
tiroes; but at last sure information was received that he was plot- 
ting, and the murder of the informer, and the conviction and death 
of the murderers, brought matters to a crisis. In June, 1675, 
the town of Swanzey was twice attacked, the houses burned, 
and the people slain ; and this was the beginning of the fiercest and 
most prolonged of the many Indian wars in which the English col- 
onies engaged. It lasted for two years, and is one long story of 
burning and massacre. The outlying farms were broken up, and 
their owners shot down by hidden savages; while the smaller set- 
tlements were ravaged and destroyed, and on several bloody fields 
the troops were surprised, caught in an ambush, and slaughtered. 
Beginning in Rhode Island, the war rapidly spread through the west 
and north, and then to the eastward, until all New England was en- 
gaged in a desperate struggle against desolation and death. At the 
close of the first year the Narragansetts broke their treaty, but before 


they could move the combined forces of the colonies were on the 
march. The great Narragansett fort was stormed with heavy loss of 
life, and after a terrible fight the wigwams were fired, the Indians 
cut down without mercy, and the military strength of this formidable 
tribe forever broken. After this success the fighting drifted away to 
the west, and the Connecticut Valley and all the frontier towns were 
assailed, the war raging with greater ferocity than ever, and with va- 
rying success. Gradually, however, the tide turned in favor of the 
English, the Indians were hunted and attacked in large bodies, and 
slain by hundreds, for the day of mercy had passed, and the fight- 
ing spirit of the Puritans had reached its highest pitch. In the sum- 
mer, Philip, who had wandered back, with disaster, defeat, and submis- 
sion on every side, was tracked to his lair at Mount Hope, and 
killed by the forces under the command of Church, the most 
daring and jovial of Indian fighters. In the south and west the war 
was now nearly over; but for more than a year it continued in the 
east, and the settlements in that region were in lai^e measure ruined. 
Troops were sent from Massachusetts, and, after much sangui- 
nary fighting, the Indians were finally brought to terms, and the 
war ended ; but this long and desperate conflict fell upon New England 
with crushing effect. A vast amount of property had been destroy- 
ed, and there was mourning in every household. The colonies were 
loaded with debt, while the enormous expenditure of men and money 
had crippled the public resources, weakened the government, and de- 
pressed the spirit of the people. It was the evil hour of Massachu- 
setts, and the opportunity of her enemies, who wera not slow to take 
advantage of it. 

The claims of Mason and Gorges, and the hostility of the London 
merchants to New England, for her evasion of the navigation laws, 
were the moving causes of this renewed attack. The opinion of the 
solicitor-general was favorable to the claims ; the Lords of Trade de- 
cided that the time had come to regulate New England affairs, and 
Edward Randolph was sent out as agent. He arrived in the midst 
of the Indian war, and at once laid before the Governor and assist- 
ants a royal letter, requiring them to send agents to answer the claims 
of Mason and Gorges. He was told that an answer should be sent, 
and then devoted himself to stirring np a party for the Crown in Bos- 
ton, working on the fears of the smaller colonies, and preparing com- 
plaints of the infractions of the Navigation Act. He finally returned 
to England full of accusations of all sorts, from coining money to 


not observing Christmas, and on no good terms with the magistrates. 
He was soon followed by Stoughton and Bulkeley as agents of the 
general court, and the last struggle was fairly opened. Into the de- 
tails of that prolonged contest, covering neai'ly eight years, it is im- 
possible here to enter. Massachusetts temporized, procrastinated, and 
resisted at all points, yielding hero and there, but rarely in essentials, 
postponing the evil day as long as possible, and buying ofE Gorges 
quietly, to the intense disgust of the King. In England matters 
went steadily against the colony. Mason was sustained, and royal 
reproofs came with increasing severity, while, worst of all, Randolph 
succeeded in building up a party of submission to the Crown, led by 
Joseph Dudley, and comprising some of the foremost men in the 
colony. There was no mistaking the issue. The independence of the 
commonwealth was at stake, and the contest was desperate. At last 
Charles sent a peremptory letter, requiring agents to bo despatch- 
ed to give in unqualified submission. The court had to yield, 
and sent Dudley and Richards, the former unpopular at home, but 
representing the party of the Crown. They carried with them, how- 
ever, a letter so unyielding in tone that the King's patience gave way, 
and a writ of quo warranto was issued against the Company. 
This writ Randolph took to Massachusetts, where he had work- 
ed so well that the magistrates voted to give way, and let the King 
regulate their charter and their laws; but the deputies stood firm, 
and resolved to defend themselves to the last. Their case, 
however, was hopeless, and the charter was annulled ; but be- 
fore the official announcement reached them Charles was dead, and 
James was proclaimed at Boston. By the advice of Ran- 
dolph a provisional government by commission, with the now 
hated Dudley as president, was formed, against which the general 
court protested, and relapsed into helpless silence. Colonel Kirke, who 
had been chosen by Charles, and confirmed by James as the ruler of 
New England, was detained by Monmouth's rebellion ; and the provi- 
sional government went on for a year, doing little, and hated 
much, until the long-dreaded Governor-general arrived in the 
person of Sir Edmund Andros. 

With the charter were swept away representative government, and 
every right and every political institution reared during half a cen- 
tury of conflict. The rule of Andros was on the model dear to 
the heart of his royal master — a harsh despotism, but neither strong 
nor wise ; it was wretched misgovernment, and stupid, blundeiing 


oppression. And this arbitrary and miserable system Andros under- 
took to force upon a people of English race, who had been inde- 
pendent and self-gpveming for fifty years. He laid taxes at liis own 
pleasure, and not even according to previous rates, as he had prom- 
ised ; he denied the Habeas Corpus to John Wise, the intrepid min- 
ister of Ipswich, arrested for preaching against taxation without rep- 
resentation, and he awakened a like resistance in all directions. He 
instituted fees, was believed to pack juries, and made Randolph li- 
censer of the press. Worst of all, he struck at property, demanded 
the examination of the old titles, declared them worthless, extorted 
quit-rents for renewal, and issued writs of intrusion against those who 
resisted ; while, not content with attacking political liberty and the 
rights of property, he excited religious animosity by forbidding civil 
marriages, seizing the old South church for the Episcopal service, 
and introducing swearing by the Book in courts of justice. He left 
nothing undone to enrage the people and prepare for rcvolu- 
tion; and when he returned from unsuccessful Indian war- 
fare in the east, the storm was ready to burst News came of the 
landing of the Prince of Orange. Andros arrested the bearer 
of the tidings, and issued a proclamation against the Prince; 
but the act was vain. Without apparent concert or preparation Bos- 
ton rose in arms, the signal-fire blazed on Beacon Hill, and the country 
people poured in, hot for revenge. Some of the old magistrates met 
at the town-house, and read a '' declaration of the gentlemen, mer- 
chants, and inhabitants,*' setting forth the misdeeds of Andros, the il- 
legality of the Dudley government by commission, and the wrongful 
suppression of the charter. Andros and Dudley were arrested and 
thrown into prison, together with the captain of the Hose frigate, 
which lay helpless beneath the guns of the fort, and a provisional 
government was established, with Bradstreet at its head. William and 
Mary were proclaimed, the revolution was complete, and Andros soon 
went back a prisoner to England. 

Affairs went on quietly under the provisional government. In- 
crease Mather was in England as agent for the colony, and Ck>oke and 
Oakes were associated with him by the general court In the first 
burst of joy on the success of the revolution it seemed as if the colo- 
nists would regain their old charter, but time passed, the active opposi- 
tion of Randolph and Andros gathered strength, the King had no mind 
to give more than was necessary, or to treat the colonies like English 
towns in a similar condition, and the agents finally had to be content 


with a new provincial charter. The absolute independence of the old 
charter was lost, bnt the frame of government was far more 
liberal than that of most of the royal provinces. The Crown 
was to appoint the Governor, depaty, and secretary, who in turn ap- 
pointed the judiciary ; the Governor's assent was now necessary to leg- 
islation, and he could summon, dissolve, and prorogue the deputies. 
The Council, however, was to be chosen by the House, subject to the 
approval of the Governor, and the whole power of the purse was given 
to the representatives of the people. The religious test for the fran- 
chise was replaced by a property qualification, so that religious liberty 
was assured. Plymouth, which had grown slowly since its settlement, 
but remained weak and unprotected, was refused a charter, and incor- 
porated with Massachusetts, as well as the district of Maine and Nova 
Scotia, while New Hampshire became finally a separate government 
Other royal officers, in the shape of a surveyor of woods, collector of 
customs, and admiralty judge, were to appear and perform their un- 
welcome duties in Massachusetts. 

The selection of officers for the new government was left to Mather, 
who picked out Sir William Phips for the place of Governor, probably 
as a man whom he could control. Phips was a native of Maine ; he had 
niade his fortune by raising a Spanish galleon, his reputation and title 
by his capture of Port Royal and conquest of Nova Scotia in 1690, and 
his popularity by his payment of the soldiers after the failure of the 
attempt on Canada in the same year. He was a hot-headed, energetic, 
vain man of slight political capacity, and his administration was nei- 
ther successful nor important The opening years of his term were 
clouded by the terrible tragedies of the witchcraft delusion, which 1 
have discussed elsewhere; while in public affairs a strong opposition 
was formed against him by the friends of the old charter, which check- 
ed his movements and irritated his temper. He failed in an Indian 
expedition, and quarrelled violently and openly with the royal officers. 
His political strength was in the country, and he succeeded in break- 
ing the power of Boston by a law requiring deputies to reside in the 
town they represented — a pernicious principle of local political resi- 
dence which has become embedded in the political systems of the 
United States. His lack of wisdom and his violent quarrels 
finally led to his recall, to answer the charges made against him 
in London, where he died in the following year. Under Phips the 
current of Massachusetts history changes, and becomes like that of 
other royal provinces. The great Puritan experiment of Church and 


State united had failed, and was at an end, and the strength of the 
once all-powerful clergy was rapidly declining. The political strag- 
gle was no longer that of Massachusetts against England, but of the 
people of Massachusetts against the royal Governors, and this contest 
is one familiar to us in all the colonies. 

The withdrawal and death of Phips left the government in the hands 
of the Lieutenant-governor, William Stoughton, bitterly unpopular as 
one of the party of the Crown in the dark days when the life of the 
old charter was at stake. He was chiefly occupied during his term of 
office with the Indian wars, bequeathed to him by Phips, in the north 
and east, a part of the great struggle between France and England, 
and instigated by the French Jesuits in Maine, among whom Stephen 
Raslq now assumes an evil prominence. After a gloomy but not un- 
successful administration of nearly five years, Stoughton was 
superseded by Lord Bellomont, who, appointed some time be- 
fore, had been delayed upon his journey, and then by his government 
in New York. Bellomont was well received, and the Legislature made 
him a generous allowance, about which he grumbled after the fashion 
of his kind, but they refused to fix a permanent salary ; and they suc- 
ceeded also in establishing a judiciary, their former efforts in this di- 
rection having been defeated in England. Bellomont favored the pop- 
ular party in Massachusetts as in New York, and carefully investigated 
the affairs of the province, occupying himself principally with 
the suppression of piracy and with bringing Kidd to justice. 
He appears to have been much liked, but ho only remained in the 
province a little more than a year, and soon after died in New York, 
when the government once more devolved upon Stoughton, who died 
a few months later ; and in the following year Joseph Dudley attained 
the summit of his ambition, and came out with a royal commission to 
govern his native province and that of New Hampshire. Joseph Dud- 
ley, untrue to his country and to the honored name he bore, had been 
the principal leader of the Crown party against the old charter. Re- 
warded by the presidency of the government by commission and by the 
chief-justiceship of New York, he had gone to England and been made 
Governor of the Isle of Wight, and chosen a member of Parliament 
Defeated in his hopes by the appointment of Bellomont, the death 
of his successful rival left the field open before him, and he received 
a commission from Anne, and came out to rule over his fellow-citizens, 
who for the most part thoroughly disliked him. Dudley was, how- 
ever, a man of force and ability, and had certain advantages as a Puri- 


tan and dissenter, so that he graduallj built up a party bound together 
by ties of self-interest, but he failed to gain political supremacy, and 
the people never forgot his past career. At the outset he demanded 
a permanent salary, which was refused, and he immediately exercised 
his power of rejecting counsellors, thus opening a fresh and bitter 
source of controversy. In this same way his administration went on 
to the end, with constant wrangles about sfilaries, appropriations, and 
counsellors, and upon every point on which a difference could arise. 
Dudley was proud and overbearing, strongly suspected of dealings 
which savored of fraud and treason, and for which his supposed ac- 
complices suffered, and became more unpopular as time went on, while 
in every essential point he was baffled by the shrewd, persistent, pop- 
ular opposition led principally by Elisha Cooke, but perfectly capable 
of dealing with the Governor without leaders. Cotton Mather, who 
had helped Dudley to his appointment, found he could not rule him, 
and the pair soon fell out The clergy generally joined the opposi- 
tion, but, headed by the two Mathers, they were defeated in regard to 
the college, and thus lost their last stronghold. The principal events 
of Dudley's term of office were connected with the war between France 
and England, venewed on the accession of Anne to the throne. 
In New England this war meant Indian atrocities. Instigated 
and led by the French, the savages broke in upon the settlements of 
Maine and the Connecticut valley, pillaging, slaying, and burning in 
the usual manner, and once more ruining many of the already blood- 
stained settlements of the east. Colonel Church was sent to the re- 
lief of these settlements, but effected little, and the war went on for 
years with savage reprisals on both sides, but little result, and with 
the balance of suffering against the English. At last Dudley raised 
a force of a thousand men in New England for an expedition 
against Port Royal ; but the campaign was a failure, and the 
army wasted away with disease. Three years later, with English aid, 
obtained by Schuyler and Nicholson, the combined forces of 
the colonies reduced Port Royal, a success which was overbal- 
anced by the disaster in the next year of Hill and Walker, in which 
Massachusetts suffered heavy losses both of men and money. The 
peace of Utrecht finally brought the much needed relief ; and after 
three years more of domestic quarrel George I. came to the throne, the 
Whigs were again supreme, the complaints of Massachusetts were at- 
tended to, and Dudley was refused a new commission. 

The government devolved upon Tailer, the Lieutenant-governor, dis- 


tinguished at Port Royal, and ander whom the popnkr party had things 
pretty much their own way. The principal political qnestion 
grew out of the financial difficulties, the debt and the paper- 
money of the colony. Colonel Burgess, who received the appoint- 
ment of Governor, was understood to favor the ** private bank^* scheme, 
and was therefore bought off for a thousand pounds by the agents of 
Massachusetts, through whose influence new appointments were made, 
and Samuel Shute, a soldier, and William Dummer, a native of 
Massachusetts, came out as Governor and Lieutenant Shute 
was an honest man, but with a rigid military sense of obedience to in- 
structions, and of the sacredness of order and discipline ; and his throw- 
ing himself upon Dudley's party for support, though perhaps inevita- 
ble, did not help him. He was not, in fact, fitted to rule over a wary 
and astute set of popular politicians, and his whole administration was 
made up of a series of quarrels on a variety of points, some new and 
some old. One of the new questions was in regard to the forests and 
the trees marked by the royal surveyor with the broad arrow for the 
King's use. The back settlers, who had won their land by hard fight- 
ing from nature and from the savages, had no mind to submit to this 
loss of their most valuable export; so while the surveyor, John Bridges, 
marked trees, the farmers cut them down, and the whole frontier was in 
a ferment CJomplaints came to Boston of the action of the surveyor ; 
Cooke supported them, and the Governor turned him out of the Coun- 
cil, whereupon the general court remonstrated, and printed their re- 
monstrance despite the prohibition of the Governor. They further 
elected Cooke Speaker, but Shute refused to confirm him, claiming 
that right as part of his prerogative, and dissolved the court, thus 
opening a new source of controversy and dispute. The Legislature 
had, however, much the best of the Governor in the chronic quarrel 
about salaries, and they used this power to hamper him in every 
new difference. They not only adhered firmly to their refusal to 
grant a permanent salary, but, to emphasize their displeasure, they 
cut down the annual allowance year by year, until the Lieutenant- 
governor's became so small that Dummer refused to accept it A 
matter of much more serious interest to the welfare of the colony 
was the long-standing financial trouble growing out of the expen- 
ditures in the French and Indian wars, which bore fruit in debts and 
depreciated bills of credit One party favored resumption in gold 
and silver; another desired a private bank and unlimited paper; a 
third urged a public bank, with careful limitation and regulation of 


bills of credit In regard to all these schemes public feeling ran high. 
Burgess had been bought off because he favored the private bank, and 
Sbute incurred the enmity of this faction by supporting the public 
bank, ivhich was far better, and was at last established, but 
nothing, however, could check the heedless issues of more and 
more paper currency, until even the small token-money consisted of 
ragged bits of paper, and a depreciation set in which was really 

Another source of dispute grew out of renewed troubles with the 
eastern Indians, who were continually incited to hostilities by the 
French rulers and the Jesuit priests. Shute urged the establishment 
of public trading-posts, to stop the sharp dealings of private traders ; 
but his scheme was frustrated by the never-ceasing political dissen- 
sions. He also endeavored, unsuccessfully, to negotiate with the tribes, 
and to send a Puritan minister among them; but they would not 
make peace, and would not desei*t the Jesuits, so that at last war broke 
out, with the usual surprises and slaughtering in the outlying settle- 
ments, and bringing in its train a fresh political quarrel. The general 
court, dissatisfied with the conduct of the campaigns, undertook to 
get control of the troops, appoint the officers, and coerce and punish 
them by withholding their pay. They had no possible right under 
the charter to seize military control ; but they crippled the operations 
of the war, and finally drove the harassed Governor to England 
in search of relief. William Dummer, upon whom the gov- 
ernment devolved, was a temperate and intelligent man ; but he was 
assailed, as his predecessor had been, in regard to military matters, and 
found that he could expect no mercy in this respect. He, however, 
stood his ground firmly, and, after much wrangling, the general court 
gave way, the contest was allayed, and the war prosecuted with some 
vigor. In the following year an expedition was sent out, directed 
against the centre of intrigue and hostility. Basle's settlement was 
surprised and destroyed, and Rasle himself, the prime mover of all the 
burning and murdering, was righteously shot by a Massachusetts sol- 
dier. The war went on in guerilla fashion for nearly two years more, 
with its usual accompaniments of ambuscades, massacres, and 
bloody fighting, until at last the Indians, worn out and de- 
prived of their guide and counsellor, made peace. 

Shute, meantime, had been at work in London, whither the court 
also sent agents — Jeremiah Dummer and Cooke — to oppose him. 
Shutc's complaints, however, in many respects only too well founded, 


prevailed ; and first came a remonstrance, and then an explanatory 
cbailer, which the court was forced to accept, and which, denying 
them the right to adjourn themselves for more than two days, 
also gave the Governor the power to confirm the Speaker. 
While Shute was preparing to return to the colony, which was well 
satisfied with Dummer, Greorge L died, Shute was put aside, and Mas> 
sachusetts and New Hampshire conferred upon William Bar- 
net, who arrived in the following year, and whose brief admin- 
istration was one continuous and bitter fight over the salary question, 
to which the court added the claim to audit the accounts, and for- 
bid the Governor to draw from a general appropriation by his simple 
warrant. Burnet's instructions were peremptory to obtain a fixed 
salary, and he was not a man to yield a jot. He combatted the court 
earnestly, and angrily dissolved and prorogued them, adjourned them 
to Salem and Cambridge — a new and bitter grievance — and lectured 
and scolded them unceasingly. The court met argument with argu- 
ment, were to the full as stubborn as the Governor, and could not be 
moved. When the conflict was at its height, Burnet died sud- 
denly of a fever, and the court, which had received him lavishly 
and thwarted him steadily, gave him a sumptuous funeral. 

Dummer, again at the head of affairs, refused to accept anything 
except a permanent salary ; and the court, although unyielding here, 
gave way for the time on the matter of auditing accounts, and sup- 
plied the treasury. Burnet's successor soon came out in the person 
of Jonathan Belcher — a native of Massachusetts — an adroit and not 
over-sensitive politician, who had of late years taken the popu- 
lar side, and a good manager, but a man of narrow mind and 
contracted views. He brought with him instructions as to the salary 
as decided as those given to Burnet, accompanied with a threat to 
bring the whole matter before Parliament The House, however, was 
not in the least disturbed, but stood their ground without flinching, 
and refused all compromises urged by the Council, until at last, as 
everything was at a stand, they sent a memorial to the King, asking 
that Belcher be allowed to accept their temporary grants. For three 
years this assent was accorded, and then the Privy Council 
gave way, and the House triumphed, for they had fairly won 
the power to keep the Governor in order by an annual allowance. 
Belcher had undertaken to build wp a party devoted to himself by 
a redistribution of the offices — a proceeding very distasteful to the 
people — and he had broken tlie power of Cooke, the popular lead- 


er, by getting him into a judgeship ; but, despite the ill-feeling thus 
aroused, arid the defeat on the salary, he gained a substantial victory 
over the House as to their right to audit accounts. The Governor 
T?as not distressed by an empty treasury, unpaid officials, and neg- 
lected public business, but the people ivere; so the House had to 
give way, and allow the Governor to draw by his warrant without 
special act. This contest was revived when war came with Spain, 
and prevented Massachusetts from taking much part in that struggle ; 
but the victory, on the whole, was unquestionably with the Governor. 
The chief troubles of Belcher's administration were, of course, con- 
nected with the wretched financial condition of the colony, now made 
worse by floods of bills from Rhode Island; and fresh issues and 
deeper depreciation make up the history of the currency. In the 
raidst of this a wild scheme of a land-bank was proposed, which was 
very popular, but did not receive the sanction of Parliament, so that 
the Company was dissolved. Against this land-bank scheme Belcher 
set his face, removed officers right and left, and disallowed the elec- 
tions of those interested in the project, a course which stirred up a 
host of active enemies ; while another source of hostility came from 
the settlement of the New Hampshire boundary, in which the Gov- 
ernor was said to be dishonestly interested, and where he certainly 
offended many persons. His popularity did not increase, and 
his combined opponents finally obtained his removal ; so that 
long before he could vindicate himself, his successor, William Shirley, 
who had lived some years in the province, was appointed. 

Shirley found himself face to face with the financial difficulties, en- 
hanced by the land-bank scheme and by the approaching day of re- 
demption, after which time he was forbidden to allow the continu- 
ance of bills of credit ; but, in deference to the wishes of the court 
and the popular dread of severe taxation, he boldly violated his in- 
structions, and allowed the bills to be continued. He also succeeded 
in securing the confidence of the deputies, and in establishing for the 
first time harmony between the various branches of the government. 
When political matters were quiet, the province was shaken by the 
religious revival, and by the work of Edwards and Whitefield, which 
produced much excitement and some controversy, but did not enter 
into politics. While Massachusetts was thus engaged, the storm 
of war was slowly gathering between France and England, and 
broke at last, threatening the colonies, as usual, wi^i the terrors of 
savage hordes from the north. Shirley, who, although bred a lawyer, 


was not without boldness and imagination as a soldier, formed an ex- 
tensive plan for the capture of the great stronghold of Lonisburg by 
New England, aided by the English fleet The general court, doubt- 
ing and amazed, fell in with the Govemor^s plan ; an army was raised 
of twenty-two hundred men from Massachusetts, and some eight hun- 
dred from Connecticut and New Hampshire, while the co-operation of 
the English fleet under Warren was secured. William Pepperell com- 
manded the provincial troops, who were safely landed at Lonisburg, 

where the outlying batteries were stormed and taken, the town 

invested, the English fleet blocked the harbor, and the French, 
worn down by hunger and fighting, surrendered. It was a gallant ex- 
ploit — ^almost the only glory of an unsuccessful war. Pepperell was 
made a baronet, and he and Shirley were both made colonels. The 
further expedition against Canada, in planning which Shirley took a 
conspicuous part, came to nothing, and the truce or peace of Aix-la- 
Chapelle put an end to a conflict in which New England had suf- 
fered much and gained little. Her expenditures were reimbursed ; 
and Massachusetts, to whom the lion's share fell, received her pay- 
ment in silver and copper, thanks to the exertions of BoUan and 
Hutchinson. The depreciated currency was called in and replaced 
by coin thus obtained, laws were passed excluding the paper of oth« 
er colonies, and the finances of the province were at last upon a sure 
and strong foundation ; but beyond this Massachusetts gained noth- 
ing. Peace gave Lonisburg back to France, the prize-money was en- 
tirely absorbed by the English navy, and Commodore Knowles came 
with his fleet to Boston, where, as a mark of respect, he sent his press- 
gangs on shore and seized men for his vessels. A fierce riot broke 
out in Boston ; Shirley withdrew to the Castle, English officers were 
seized, and Knowles threatened to bombard the town ; but the general 
court restored order, the officers were given up, and the impressed 
seamen returned. There can be no doubt that the whole movement, 
though apparently a riot, was managed by shrewd and leading men ; and 
the affair did not tend to increase the popular affection for England. 
After the peace, Shirley went to England, leaving his government 

in the hands of Spencer Phips, in order to urge the fortifi- 
iTSsJ ^^^^ ^^ Crown Point; and while there, he was one of a 

commission to settle boundaries with France, which proved fu- 
tile, so that ho returned to Massachusetts eager for a renewal of the 
conflict between ^he French and English, and full of schemes of con- 
quest War was, in fact, on the verge of breaking out, and hostilities 


\frhich arc associated with the name of Washington were already be- 
ginning in the valley of the Ohio. The death-straggle of the two 
great powers striving for a continent was at hand, and into this 
conflict Shirley, inflamed by his success at Louisbnrg, eagerly threw 
himself. He was the most distinguished of colonial governors — san- 
guine, high-spirited, adroit, and popular in Massachusetts. He took 
a leading part in the Congress of Grovernors at Albany, and warm- 
ly supported the abortive scheme of union proposed by Franklin. 
He also had a large share in the campaigns of the following year, 
heading in person the expedition against Fort Niagara, which 
went no farther than Oswego, and planning that under John- 
son, ^hich resulted in the defeat of Dieskau. In all he was sustained 
by Massachusetts, whoso troops bore a prominent part in every expe- 
dition. The principal event of the year was the conquest of Acadia, 
planned in Massachusetts, and carried out by New England troops un- 
der the lead of Winslow, who reduced the country and captured the 
forts. The conquest was marked by the expulsion of the simple and 
inoflfensivo Acadians, in accordance with instructions from England, 
and was due to a policy in which Shirley had an important part; 
but the terrible scenes accompanying the removal of these harmless 
people from their homes are dark stains upon the English in the 
conduct of this great war. 

The conquest of Acadia and the defeat of Dieskau, however, did 
little more than balance the awful disaster of Braddock. Shir- 
ley, who had now reached his highest point, was commander- 
in-chief of all the forces, and, at a meeting of Governors, in his usual 
grand manner proposed three expeditions — against Fort Du Qucsne, 
Fort Frontenac, and Ticonderoga, respectively. His plans were accept- 
ed ; but confidence in his ability had begun to wane in Massachusetts, 
where he only succeeded in getting men by advancing to the colony 
money received from England. The truth was that 8hirley*s success 
at Louisburg had created the impression that he was a man of mili- 
tary genius, which was far from being the case. He was brilliant, 
fertile, and plausible ; but engaged in war on a large scale his real 
incapacity was soon revealed ; his enemies, too, were active, and he 
had hardly begun to use his powers as gencral-in-chief when he was 
recalled. Lord Loudon came out to take command of the array, and 
on the death of Phips, the Lieutenantgovernor, Thomas Pow- 
nall, one of Shirley's opponents, appeared in Boston as Gov- 
ernor. While these changes were in progress, Massachusetts contin- 



ued to raise men, and take an active part in the war ; but nnder Lord 
London matters went rapidly from bad to worse. Shirley^s brilliant 
schemes were abandoned, a weak policy of defence was assumed, Moot- 
calm swept down upon Oswego, and in the following year appeared 
on the lakes and took Fort William Henry. By subjecting provin- 
cial to royal officers Loudon bred ill-feeling in all directions, and this, 
combined with his wretched mismanagement and overbearing ways, 
led to quarrels with the colonial assemblies, and consequent refusal 
of men. The colonies began to look out for themselves without a 
thought of union, and the frontiers were defenceless. At this junc- 
ture Pitt again camo to the head of affairs, provincial officers were 
given proper standing, and twenty thousand men responded to his 
summons for troops. Ships and men and money, and, above all, 
good generals, came from England, and the war took on a new 
appearance. Three great expeditions were planned — against Du 
Quesne, Ticonderoga, and Louisburg. Forbes took Fort Du Quesne, 
and Wolfe and Amherst carried Louisburg ; but the grand army, di- 
rected against Ticonderoga, in which were five thousand men from 
Massachusetts, was repulsed with heavy losses, including Lord Howe, 
to whom the province raised a monument in Westminster Abbey. 
The only relief to this misfortune was the capture of Fort Fronte- 
nac by the brave Bradstreet, the defender of Oswego, and the most 
distinguished of the Massachusetts sol^jers. Undeterred, however, 
by the defeat of Abercrombie, Pitt urged on still more ex- 
tensive plans for the following year. Parliament, under his 
guidance, gave money freely to the colonies, and Massachusetts alone 
raised seven thousand men. The campaign was one of unbroken tri- 
umph. Wolfe, at Quebec ; Stanwix, on the Ohio ; Johnson, at Fort 
Niagara — all won great victories; while on the lakes, where the in- 
terest of New England centred, the French were driven back from 
Ticonderoga to the Isle aux Noix. The next year Amherst 
reduced Montreal, and the empire of France in America fell 

Pownall,who had been prudent and popular, was in this same year 
transferred to South Carolina, and was succeeded by Francis Bernard, 
the Governor of New Jersey. Relieved from the stress of war, pub- 
lic attention was again turned to home politics, and causes of differ- 
ence were not wanting. Shirley and others of his stamp had in their 
schemes of conquest eagerly urged union, taxation of the colonies, and 
a stronger exercise of the prerogative ; while, on the other hand, the 


attitade of the colonies under Lord London had shown how quickly 
they would resent such doctrines. The broad views of Pitt, and the 
enthusiasm he excited, had pushed aside all these subjects of contest ; 
but with the conquest of Canada they began once more to come to 
the surface. England had already begun to meddle. The iron in- 
dustry had been checked, and the Sugar Act, raising a revenue on 
that staple, and thus striking at the chief commercial interest of New , 
England, was revived. Under this act there had been many seizures 
and much ill-feeling, until at last suit was brought against the offi- 
cers, and decided in their favor. They then asked for writs of assist- 
ance to enable them to search for contraband goods. When 
the case came to trial, Thomas Hutchinson, the native leader 
of the Crown party, was on the bench as chief -justice, and James 
Otis at the bar. In arguing against the writs, Oxenbridge Thacher 
took the technical position that the writs were beyond the power of 
the court; but Otis, going outside of this, took up in a speech of 
fiery eloquence the broad ground that such writs were an invasion 
of the rights of Englishmen. He triumphed at the moment, but 
Hutchinson succeeded in having the case continued, and got author- 
ity from England to issue the writs. The next struggle was with the 
Governor, who, by provisions for the payment of the crews of ships, 
was accused by the House of striking at the right of taxation ; but 
these controversies were only the forerunners of the gathering tem- 
pest, and simply show a greater watchfulness and a more ready op- 
position in Massachusetts than elsewhere. 

Far more serious measures were, indeed, preparing in England, where 
a new King had come to the throne, and small men occupied 
the place once filled by William Pitt Peace, whioh gave such 
joy to the colonists, was merely the opportunity for the new policy. 
A resolution was passed to raise a revenue from America, and the 
ships of war were ordered to assist officers of the customs. When 
Grenvillo came to the head of affairs he turned his attention to the 
extension of the stamp duties to the colonies ; and it cannot be doubt- 
ed that behind all this was a far-reaching purpose to entirely reorgan- 
ize the colonial governments and make them mere provinces. 
Massachusetts was alive to the danger which threatened her, and 
the House instructed their agent to protest against the Sugar Act, aa 
well as any other forms of taxation. Still the ministry pushed on. 
Notice was given of the coming Stamp Act, and a bill raising reve- 
nue from sugar and other foreign products was introduced. Excite- 


ment in Massachusetts rose rapidly. Otis used both pen and voice 
to arouse the people ; a committee of correspondence was establish* 
ed ; and at last the Governor, after much delay, was compelled to 
summon the House. After much opposition in the Council, a vciy 
moderate address to the King was agreed upon, and the representa* 
tives were greatly encouraged by the still stronger resolution of Vir- 
ginia and New York. Early in the following year came tidings of the 
passage of the Stamp Act, under the pressure of which public feeling 
rapidly rose, and the popular determination to resist became 
more and more apparent. When the general court assembled 
the House voted that there ought to be a meeting of colonial dele- 
gates ; and, despite the opposition of Hutchinson and Bernard, a cir- 
cular letter of invitation went forth to all the colonies. All sympa- 
thized, and eight responded by sending delegates, who met with those 
of Massachusetts, headed by James Otis, at New York in October. 
This call was the first formal summons to union, and with that great 
act the history of Massachusett« is joined to that of her sister col- 


Chapter XIX. 


The history of Massachusetts, in its main features and in all exter- 
nal matters — as in the condition and form of its society — ^is the his- 
tory of the other three New England colonies, which were offshoots 
of the great colony of the Bay, and peopled by men and women of 
the same hardy stock. This was especially true of Connecticat /The 
Plymouth people and the Dutch set up trading-posts, and contend- 
ed for the dominion of the Contiecticut valley ; /but the future pos- 
sessors of that pleasant region came from Massachusetts. Even in 
the earliest days emigration was discussed in the towns near Bos- 
ton ; and, although the magistrates frowned upon the scheme, set- 
tlers pushed out and made their way to the river valley. Two 
years later John Winthrop, the younger, came out as Governor 
of Connecticut under the patent of Lord Brooke and Lord Say-and- 
Sele, and, taking formal possession of the country, tore down the 
Dutch arms and built a fort at Saybrook. Emigration now increased 
rapidly; and a year later Hooker, the great rival of Cotton in the cler- 
gy of Massachusetts — at the head of the whole congregation 
of the Newtown church — ^journeyed through the woods and 
settled at Hartford. For a year the little towns thus founded were 
governed under a commission from Massachusetts, Winthrop^s settle- 
ment being little more than a military post ; but when the time of 
the commission expired the towns chose representatives, and 
held a general court at Hartford. "While the feeble colony 
was thus struggling for existence, it was suddenly threatened with all 
the horrors of Indian war. The trouble with the Pcquods belonged 
to Massachusetts and Plymouth ; but while it was a peril to those col- 
onies, it meant extermination and death to the settlers of Connecticut, 
where the savages were already murdering and burning on the outly- 
ing farms. The colonists faced the danger with stem Puritan courage. 
Their fighting men were mustered, and put under the command of John 


Mason, who led them against the stronghold of the Indians ; and in 
the desperate assault upon the Pequod fort the men of Connecticut 
bore the heaviest share, and did more than any dthers to break the 
power of their formidable enemies, and give the land the peace of 
forty years. The order for the Pequod war came from the general 
court at Hartford ; and its results bore heavily upon the settlers, bur- 
dened them with debts, and entailed serious losses by the interrup- 
tion of agriculture. But the men who had overthrown the Pequods 
were able to cope with any difficulties. They levied taxes, toiled at 
their farms, and in a short time established a government with the 
first written constitution in America. The form of government was 
purely democratic and wholly independent ; all power being vested in 
the freemen, who chose the general court, the assistants, and 
Governor. The first Governor was John Haynes, who had al- 
ready held the same office in Massachusetts ; the second was Edward 
Hopkins ; and these two men were elected alternately to the Govern- 
orship for many years. 

During the Pequod war another settlement was made in Connec- 
ticut still farther to the south. A body of emigrants of property 
and respectability — under the leadership of John Davenport, a min- 
ister, and Theophilus Eaton, a wealthy London merchant — <^niiOo 
Mass4clms§tts. Deterred either by the heated religious conflicts, or 
desiring to try plans of their own undisturbed, these new colonists 
did not remain in Massachusetts, but sailed away to the south, and 
settled at Quinni^iack, on the Sound, thirty miles west of the Con- 
necticut river, where they l ived for a year, under no rule other than 
a compact to obey the Scriptures. They then met in a barn, and, 
in accordance with the Bible phrase, chose seven men as the " seven 
pillars," who formed a Church, which, in this most intensely religious 
of all the New England colonies, was the State, and church member- 
ship and citizenship were of course identical. Two months later 
they again met, and formed a civil government — another indepen- 
dent religious democracy like that of Connecticut — with Theophilus 
Eaton as Governor. The tide of immigration now flowed steadily ; 
other churches were gathered on the New Haven model, and other 
towns sprang up. Some fell within the Connecticut jurisdiction, 
and sent representatives to Hartford ; while others for years gov- 
erned themselves each in its own way. Springfield was resigned to 
Massachusetts ; but the towns of Connecticut steadily increased, and 
the Puritans spread themselves through the river valley and along 


the shores of the Sound and of Long Island. Slowly and sarelj 
the English, who Lad come to stay, drove out the Dutch, who mere- 
ly came to trade ; and they even began to encroach upon Dutch ter- 
ritory. Despite their growth and prosperity, however, the situation 
of these scattered settlements was precarious, for they were surround- 
ed by savages, and next door to the Dutch ; so that they felt strong- 
ly the n eed of union, and their efforts finally resulted in the 
formation of the New England Confederacy, which greatly 
strengthened the position of Connecticut and New Haven. It ena- 
bled the latter to look after her traders in the Delaware, with whom 
the Swedes had meddled, and it gave both colonies great weight in 
their difficulties with the Dutch, which now came thick and fast, in- 
volving questions of boundary jurisdiction and payment of duties on 
ships. I n domestic affai rs the Connecticut people prospered steadily. 
Both settlementsjncreased, the laws were codified, and government was 
administered in the most rigid Puritan fashion, and by constantly re- 
elected magistrates. 

Notwithstanding the advantages of the confederacy, however, every- 
thing did not go smoothly. Connecticut undertook to lay a duty 
upon the Springfield vessels passing Saybrook ; Massachusetts 
I649' I'^i^oiistrated, and the quan'el, which threatened to break up 
the confederacy, was protracted for nearly two years. Tho 
preponderating influence of Massachusetts could not be overcome, and 
the smaller colonies had to sacrifice their pride, and submit, as a rule, 
to her dictation. In the year following Stuyvesant came to Hartford, 
and soon after a boundary was settled, which wiis much to tho 
advantage of the English ; but still, Connecticut and New Ha- 
ven remained uneasy and suspicious, and rumors of Indian conspira- 
cies, instigated by the Dutch, together with the war in Europe, 
moved them to put their defences in order, and urge upon the 
confederacy the necessity of war. Massachusetts held back ; her peo- 
ple were disinclined to fight unless the need was very clear, and the 
proofs of Dutch hostility and Indian conspiracy were by no means in- 
disputable. The commissioners, however, with tho exception of Brad- 
street, voted for war, and assigned the quotas of the colonies; but Mas- 
sachusetts refused to be bound, and, with Connecticut and New Haven 
clamoring for war, it seemed, after a prolonged controversy, as if the 
union must be dissolved. A similar policy was pursued then, and later, 
by Massachusetts, in regard to the Nyantics, when the smaller colonies 
were again compelled to give way. So long as the confederacy acted 


in accordance \vith the wishes of Massachasctts, all went well ; but 
when she differed from the others, she was ready to dissolve the 
union rather than yield. Despairing of aid from Massachusetts, Con- 
necticut and New Ilavcn at an early day appealed to England for 
help, and received with great joy the news of the setting forth 
of Leverett and Sedgewick with ships and men. Both colo- 
nies eagerly prepared for the expedition against New Netherlands, 
and raised troops and voted money ; but peace in Europe came in 
season to prevent the expedition, and saved the Dutch from the colo- 
nists of Connecticut, to the great chagrin of the latter. In the tran- 
quillity brought by peace, domestic affairs were ordered and regu- 
lated, and both colonies continued to thrive as before, and increase 
in population and wealth. This was particularly true of Con- 
necticut, who spread her settlements in all directions, and fnr> 
thcr strengthened herself by choosing John Winthrop, the younger, 

The wisdom of this choice was soon shown. At the Restoration, 
New Haven and Connecticut found themselves confronted by 
a Stuart king, and utterly unprotected by a charter, as was the 
case with Massachusetts. New Haven hesitated, and only acknowledged 
and proclaimed Charles after much delay ; but Connecticut acted at 
once. An address, in flattering language, was drawn up and given to 
Winthrop, who was despatched to London to present it to the King, 
and was further empowered to obtain a confirmation of the Say-and- 
Sele patent, or, if possible, a royal charter. Winthrop was admira- 
bly adapted for the work. He was graceful, courteous, diplomatic ; he 
not only engaged the assistance of all sympathizers with the Puritans, 
but by his own address and by his scientific tastes he had won many 
friends, especially among the members of the Royal Society, just then 
in high favor with Charles. By his own skill, and aided by the min- 
isterial desire to break the confederacy, raise up a rival to Massachu- 
setts, and extinguish the intense Puritanism of New Haven, with its re- 
ligious franchise, he obtained in a few months a charter of the most 
liberal kind. Nineteen patentees, and such as they should as- 
sociate with themselves, were constituted a corporation, under 
the title of the Governor and Company of Connecticut. All power was 
given to the freemen of the towns, who were to choose a governor, dep- 
uty, assistants, and representatives, and the only restriction was the very 
vague one that the laws should not be contrary to those of England. 
To this corporation was given all the territory from Narragansett Bay 


to the Pacific, thus inclading land from Massachusetts, Rhode Island, 
and New Netherlands, and the whole of New Haven. Winthrop had 
promised that New Haven should have the liberty of choice ; but the 
people of Connecticut, who received the charter with great joy, had 
no such views, and set to work at once to incorporate towns and ter- 
ritory in all directions, and to unite New Haven without delay or con- 
cession. New Haven stubbornly resisted, and was supported at the 
meeting of the Federal commissioners by Massachusetts and Plym- 
outh ; but Connecticut went on its way, despite the remonstrances of 
Winthrop, and rapidly drew in the southern towns. New Haven held 
out through all with like obstinacy, as town after town fell away 
from her jurisdiction, until the arrival of the royal commis- 
sioners, and their subsequent conquest of New York. Only 
three towns then remained outside the Connecticut government, and 
it was obvious that the whole of southern Connecticut, and New 
Haven as well, would be absorbed in New York, unless the controver- 
sy was quickly ended. A consolidation was the only hope of escape, 
and New Haven, with grief and bitterness, gave way ; her government 
was dissolved, her towns sent representatives to Hartford, and her 
separate existence came to an end. The union greatly strengthened 
their position, but they still had to deal with the royal commission- 
ers, who, having settled affairs in New York, then visited the 
smaller New England colonies, reserving Massachusetts to the 
last. They made the same demands of Connecticut which had been 
made and complied with in Plymouth, asking that all householders 
should take the oath of allegiance, and that justice should be admin- 
istered in the King's name ; that all men of competent estate should 
be admitted as freemen, and to office ; that all persons of orthodox 
opinions and decent lives should be admitted to communion, and that 
all laws derogatory to the King should be repealed. These requests 
were not in conflict either with the practice or policy of Connecticut, 
and were at once obeyed; but they were a bitter infliction to the 
recently annexed New Haven towns, where a system of Church and 
State had prevailed even more rigid than that of Massachusetts. But 
as Connecticut was in the ascendant, her policy had to be followed, 
and New Haven was left to make the best of it. 

Quiet and prosperity reigned after the departure of the royal com- 
missioners, and Winthrop was continued from year to year in the of- 
fice of Governor. The Federal commissioners resumed their meet- 
ings; but the confederacy, shorn of one member by the annexation 


of New Haven, seemed to have lost not only its balance, bat its ac- 
tivity as well. The most exciting subjects of public interest during 
these years were a prolonged discussion about baptism, which led to 
a synod, and a proposition from Nicolls to join in his expedition 
against Canada, which met with a very cold reception. The tran- 
quillity of the colony was at last broken by the reappearance 
of their former foes — the Dutch — and the reconquest of New 
York. The old spirit was again awakened in Connecticut. She in- 
terfered for the protection of the Long Island towns, sent defiant 
messages to the Dutch — who treated them contemptuously — raised 
troops, and appealed to the Federal commissioners. Massachusetts, 
as of yore, held back, but finally began to arm ; and the Connecticut 
forces bad already repulsed the Dutch on Long Island, when 
news came of peace, and of the transfer of New York to the 
English, followed very shortly by the appearance of Major Edmund 
Andros as Governor of New York, which, under the new patent taken 
out by the duke, extended to the Connecticut river. Andros at once 
raised his claim to western Connecticut, and sent copies of the 
patent to Hartford. The court replied that the boundaries 
had been settled by the royal commission, and denied that Andros 
had any rights. Hearing of Indian troubles, however, Andros an- 
nounced that he must attend to the defence of the duke's property, 
and accordingly appeared at Saybrook, whither Connecticut troops had 
been sent with instructions to receive him civilly, but prevent his pas- 
sage up the river by force if necessary. Andros landed, read the pat- 
ent and his commission, heard a protest read, and then departed, ut- 
terly unable to effect anything. 

The rumors of Indian wars, which had furnished, an excuse for the 
visit of Andros, were the first mutterings of the terrible storm of Phil- 
ip's war. In that fierce conflict Connecticut did her share of gallant 
fighting, although, from her position, she suffered but little from In- 
dian attack, except on her northeni frontier, and the current of her 
prosperous growth was not seriously checked, In the first year 
of the war she lost by death her excellent Governor, the young- 
er Winthrop ; but the government went on as successfully and quietly 
as ever ; agriculture improved, and trade grew and extended. The only 
serious trouble arose from the complications in regard to the Rhode 
Island boundary, a tangled dispute which was mixed up with various 
other claims by the Atherton Company and by Massachusetts, and 
which was carried hither and thither from colony to colony, and from 


the Federal commissioners to the Privy Council. Feeling at last ran 
80 high against the Rhode Island people, who continued to come upon 
the disputed lands, that Connecticut began to arm to repel the 
intruders. This induced a pause, and two years later colonial 
commissioners, appointed by the King, heard the case, and set aside 
the claims of Rhode Island, who refused to appear. During 
all these years Connecticut had constantly given expression to 
the loyalty which distinguished her from the other New England col- 
onies ; and Randolph, then in the midst of his warfare upon Massachu- 
setts, not only left Connecticut alone, but even cultivated her good- 
will. At the meeting of the boundary commission, he started an old 
claim of the Duke of Hamilton against the colony for lands; and 
though the commission would only transmit the papers, and the case 
finally went against the claimants, it remained open, and an- 
noyed Connecticut for many years. Not long after, the con- 
federation, which had been languishing^ held its last meeting, and the 
death of Charles II. left Connecticut to deal with the di£Scul- 
ties of Stuart rule, which she had hitherto so prudently and 
successfully avoided, 

James II. was at once proclaimed, and loyal addresses of condolence, 
and congratulation, and beseeching favor were sent to England, where 
they arrived about the same time as a list of charges from Randolph, 
who was now giving attention to Connecticut. His accusations in- 
volved the crimes of independent government, laws contrary to those 
of England, hostility to the Established Church, and more of the 
same sort, with which long practice had made Randolph familiar. 
The charges were referred to the attorney-general, with orders to pre- 
pare a writ of quo warranto^ and in the following year Ran- 
dolph sent word from Boston that ho was the bearer of the 
writ. He omitted to state that the time for appearance to contest 
the writ had passed ; but he demanded that the colony should yield 
up its charter without more ado and submit. Two weeks later he 
appeared in person at Hartford to itrge his demands, and the court re- 
plied by a humble address to the King, and by appointing an agent to 
represent them and employ counsel. They likewise declined to come 
under the government of Dudley, even at the risk of annexation to 
New York, and they judiciously tried to keep on good terms with 
Dongan ; but their hearts were heavy, they had slight expectations 
of justice from the English courts, and the arrival of Andros as Gov- 
ernor-general seemed to put an end to all hopes. Andros sent imme- 


diate notice to the colony that he expected the aanender of the char- 
ter, and Randolph in insolent terms informed them that an- 
other writ had been issued. The government congratolated 
Andros upon his arrival, and sent a letter couched in ambiguous lan- 
guage to the Secretary of State, Lord Sunderland, who construed it 
as a submission ; but beyond this they would not go. They met 
and transacted no business, while Andros pushed intrigues for surren- 
der in all directions, and their agent Whiting, in London, although 
with slight hope, succeeded in putting ofE the dreaded trial of the 
quo warranto. At last Andros resolved to go in person to Connec- 
ticut, and with a large escort proceeded to Hartford, where he met 
the Governor and Council, to whom the court had intrusted the sole 
management of their desperate affairs. In the evening a conference 
was held, and tradition asserts that the lights were suddenly extin- 
guished, and the charter carried off and concealed. Either the orig- 
inal or a duplicate was safely preserved ; and it is also certain that 
the next day Andros took possession, was acknowledged, and appoint- 
ed counsellors, and that the free -charter government of Connecticut 
was, in appearance at least, finally overthrown. Andros interfered but 
little with Connecticut, which remained quiet, and bided its time 
without murmuring. When the news arrived of the deposi- 
tion of Andros, that time had come. The principal men of 
the towns came together, the old government with the same officers 
was re-established, the courts were opened, the militaiy organization 
was confirmed, and a month later the general court again convened, 
and joyfully proclaimed William and Mary. The shrewd and concili- 
atory policy of Connecticut, which Massachusetts had been too strong 
and too proud to adopt, had postponed Bandolph's attacks until the 
accession of James. By this delay Connecticut saved her charter ; 
while Massachusetts, where every inch of ground was contested, lost 
hers. After the attack was made the same yielding policy was pur- 
sued, and fortune also favored Connecticut Her apparent submis- 
sion, and the delays of the law encouraged by her agent, resulted in 
leaving her charter untouched when the Revolution came. Connecti- 
cut, by addresses and through her agent, begged for a formal confix 
mation, which was never given ; but Increase Mather obtained from 
the law-officers of the Crown the opinion, that as the surrender had 
not been under the common seal, nor enrolled, nor recorded, and as 
there was no judgment of record against it, the charter was intact 
Efforts were made to destroy it, and at one time to annex Connecti- 


cut to New York, but all proved futile. The free-charter government 
was safe. 

From the accession of William and Mary until the Revolation, the af- 
fairs of Connecticut were conducted in the old, simple, and quiet fash- 
ion. With the exception of Rhode Island, it was the only one of all 
the colonies which was wholly free from the contests over salaries, fees, 
prerogatives, rights, and privileges which form so marked a feature in 
the colonial history of the eighteenth century. Having a government 
chosen by the freemen throughout, there was no representative of the 
Crown to fight with, and no liberties to be jealously guarded, while 
the dangers of outside interference practically disappeared with the 
Stuarts. Connecticut readily took part in aiding her neighbors in 
their difficulties; helping Massachusetts in the east with men and 
money, and sustaining Leisler by sending soldiers. In the luckless 
Canadian expedition, which was to have met Phips at Montreal, Con- 
necticut had a leading part, ^nd sharp quarrels with Leisler. She suc- 
cessf ujly kept at arm's-length the right of appeal from her courts to 
England, and in the matter of military control resisted the efforts to 
give it to Phips and Fletcher; sending the latter home from a 
visit to Hartford, helpless and grumbling at the curt refusal 
of the Puritan magistrates. Free from harassing Indian wars and from 
the religious troubles of Rhode Island, with an independent govern- 
ment, Connecticut was the most peaceful, the most prosperous, and the 
happiest of the colonies. Her schools flourished, her towns throve, 
the franchise was extended, legislation improved, debt avoided, faithful 
magistrates continued long in office, and great attention paid to every- 
thing calculated to improve the welfare of the people. The only trou- 
blesome question was that of boundaries on the north and east, which 
remained open for many years, and gave rise to much heart-burning ; 
until finally, on the east, the Rhode Island construction was accepted. 
Connecticut took little part in Queen Anne's war during its early 
years, and refused to help Dudley, for whom she had no love, 
in his expedition against Port Royal; but that same year, 
iitz-John Winthrop, who had been Governor for ten years, died, and 
was succeeded by Gurdon Saltonstall, who induced the adoption of 
a more energetic war policy. For the Canadian expedition of 1709, 
which never even reached the border, Connecticut raised men and 
money ; the next year she sent three hundred men and five transports 
to share in the capture of Port Royal, and again she sent men under 
the lead of Saltonstall as far as Albany, to support the disastrous ex- 


pcdition attempted by Walker and Hill in the St Lawrence. Money 
for tbese campaigns was obtained by bills of credit; but the 
financial arrangements were so sonnd that tbe bills hardly 
depreciated at all, and the debt was slowly and surely extinguished. 
Not long after the end of the war the northern boundary was 
finally settled, and Connecticut gained over a hundred thou- 
sand acres. During this period Dudley was at work against the char- 
ter, and a bill was introduced in Parliament to vacate all charters; 
but despite this, and tro